Hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites... What do they have in common?
Birds of Prey are birds that hunt on the wing, or in flight. They are known for using a combination of keen senses, especially sight and smell, as well as long hooked talons and beaks in order to capture and transport their prey. They vary from other birds such as storks, gulls, and penguins due to this combination of hunting tools rather than heavily relying on just one set of tools.
Birds of prey can be divided into two main groups, those that hunt in the day time, also known as diurnal or raptors, and those that hunt in the night time, also known as nocturnal or owls. The nocturnal birds of prey have a heightened sense of both hearing and vision as they perform most of their hunting in the dark.
These birds primarily hunt vertebrate, including other birds. Common names for birds of prey are hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites, Old World vultures, osprey, secretary birds, falcons, and caracaras.
Birds of prey have been known to devour large insects such as grasshoppers, praying mantises. Birds that spend a majority of their time on the ground are more inclined to consume a greater quantity of insects.
What kind of foods do birds like hawks eat?
More commonly birds of prey will eat fish and small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews and gophers. They have been known to eat small birds, large birds (pigeons, doves, or ducks) medium sized mammals such as rabbits and large squirrels, some reptiles and amphibians. American kestrels and Red-shouldered hawks have been known to include the latter into their diet.