Birds of Prey Countdown
Birds of prey or raptors are fascinating creatures that continue to be at the top of the food chain due to their amazing traits and capabilities. In order to showcase some of the mightiest raptors on earth, we decided to pull together a list of ten birds of prey that are amongst the largest in the world. While this list encompasses some of the largest raptors on earth, it is important to note that our definition of a bird of prey includes condors and vultures. Many ornithologists and biologists dispute classifying vultures and condors as birds of prey. However, we included these species into our list because of their raptor-like characteristics. Nevertheless, prepare to be astonished by this amazing list of some of the largest birds of prey on earth.
10. Eurasian Eagle Owl
The Eurasian Eagle Owl is found in the mountains and forests of Europe and Asia weighing up to 4.2 kgs (9.2 lbs.) with a wingspan measuring 2 meters (6.5 feet). This bird of prey is among the largest and most powerful owls in the world. While many owls are similar in size, this bird of prey deserves to be mentioned because it is the only owl known to kill a human being. However, this raptor primarily feeds on rodents, feeder rabbits and small foxes.
9. Martial Eagle
The Martial Eagle is known as Africa’s largest eagle with a wingspan measuring 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) and weighing up to 6.2 kgs (13.6 lbs.). Due to the fact that this bird occasionnally attacks their livestock, many farmers frequently seek to eliminate this bird of prey.
8. Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle is so magnificent that it has become a national symbol in the Philippines. This bird of prey has adapted to hunt in forested habitats and is incredibly agile even though it weights up to 7 kgs (15.3 lbs.) and has a 2 meter (6.5 feet) wingspan. This raptor is known to feed on monkeys, large bats, lemurs, pigs and dogs.
7. Steller's Sea Eagle
Found in Russia and Japan, the Steller’s Sea Eagle is the heaviest eagle in the world weighing up to 9 kgs (19.8 lbs.) with a wingspan measuring 2.5 meters (8.1 feet). This bird primarily feeds on fish but is known to attack other large birds and baby seals. Unfortunately, this raptor is labeled as an endangered species because of lead poisoning due to ingesting lead while scavenging on animal remains left by human hunters.
6. Harpy Eagles
Harpy Eagles are the most powerful eagles in the world weighing 9 kgs (19.8 lbs.) with a wingspan measuring 2 meters (6.5 feet). Their wingspan is much shorter than other large birds because they need to maneuver in densely forested habitats. These raptors possess extremely long talons and an incredibly strong grip capable of breaking a human’s arm. The Harpy Eagle mostly preys on sloths, monkeys and large birds.
5. African Crowned Eagle
The African Crowned Eagle is a powerful and aggressive raptor residing in the rainforests of tropical Africa. Although this bird of prey only has a wingspan measuring 2 meters (6.5 feet), it can hunt animals weighing up to 35 kgs (77.1 lbs.). In fact, its talons are so strong that it has been known to crush the skulls of monkeys! The Crowned Eagle also preys on Guinea fowl, hyraxes, agwantibos, chevrotains and small antelope.
4. Bearded Vulture
Also known as the Lammergeyer, this bird of prey is one of the largest raptors in the world weighting up to 8 kgs (17.7 lbs.) and a wingspan measuring over 3 meters (9.8 feet). Bearded vultures can be found in Asia, Europe and Africa and are mostly scavengers. They are known to swipe up dead animal carcasses and drop them from great heights over hard surfaces to break the animal’s bones. Once broken, the Bearded Vulture feeds on the marrow. These birds have also been seen attacking live prey as well by knocking the animal off the side of a cliff.
3. California Condor
The California Condor is considered to be the largest bird in North America with an impressive wingspan measuring 3 meters (9.8 feet) and weighing up to 12 kgs (26.6 lbs.). Their diet mainly consists of carrion, including deer, cattle, sheep, rabbits and rodents.
2. Lappet Faced Vultures
Lappet Faced Vultures are as large as American Condors with an impressive wingspan measuring 3 meters (9.8 feet) and weighing up to 14 kgs (30.8 lbs.). Found in African savannahs and in Arabia, these birds of prey commonly kill gazelles, antelopes and flamingos. It is also known to steal eggs and the young of other birds. In fact, this raptor is so aggressive that it is known to attack other predatory animals to keep them away from carrion.
1. Andean Condor
The Andean Condor, an endangered species, is considered the largest bird of prey with an enormous wingspan measuring 3 meters (9.8 feet) and weighing up to 15 kgs (33.1 lbs.). They primarily live in mountainous regions where there is an abundant amount of wind to help their massive body in flight. The Andean Condor is considered a vulture, so they mostly feed on large carrion.