Birds of prey (Falconiformes, Falconiformes), a detachment of birds, unites five families (condors, falcons, hawks, secretaries, copies), 290 species. Length and body weight from 15 cm and 35 g (baby falcon) to 110 cm and 15 kg (condors).
Distributed throughout the world, excluding Antarctica. Occupy all natural areas and landscapes. The beak is strong, curved hook. Its base is covered with a naked, brightly colored cord, into which the external openings of the nostrils open.
Legs strong with long and sharp claws. The fingers are relatively long with pads on the plantar side to hold prey. The constitution is dense, the plumage is rigid, tight to the body.
Color pale with a predominance of gray and brown tones. In some carrion-fed species, the head and part of the neck are not plumed. Coloring in males and females is the same, but females are noticeably larger than males. American vultures have males larger than females.
The diet consists mainly of birds and small mammals. Large eagles catch monkeys, sloths, small antelopes and even dogs.
There are species that feed primarily on fish or reptiles (most often snakes). Additional (less often the main) food are arthropods.
Vultures and vultures feed on carrion. The beak is used for cutting prey, therefore the most powerful beaks are endowed with fish-eating eagles, dealing with large, slippery and covered with strong scales prey, or scavengers.
They hunt from ambush, often look out for prey in flight, some are stalking in the air. Lead a day life, some species - twilight. In the northern and temperate latitudes, some species migrate.
Polyunia is known in some of the Luneas, polyandry in the Buzzards. During the nesting period, they are kept in pairs in separate areas. Some settle colonies (vultures, small falcons). Both parents build from the branches of the nest-platform on the trees or cliff ledges.
Falcons are used by buildings of other birds of prey or corvids. Females hatch a clutch of 1–6 eggs for 25–60 days, at this time receiving food from the males.
Bird of prey with the letter
Chicks are fed by both parents. In many species, chicks in one nest develop unevenly, and the older ones (and sometimes the parents) often kill the younger ones. In large predators, chicks depend on their parents for a long time. South American single chick harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) sits in the nest for almost half a year. And another six months, already knowing how to fly, spends not far from the nest and receives feed from the parents.
46 species breed in Russia. Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetus) - the largest eagle in the forest zone and mountains. As food for him are calves of roe deer and deer, hares, foxes, marmots, gophers, partridges, snowcocks, grouse, geese, ducks, coots.
Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) inhabits dense forest areas with old tree stands. It feeds on mammals and birds. Krechety (Falco gyrfalco), sackers (Falco cherrug), peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) catch birds in the air, flying at speeds of up to 200 km / h. The predator strikes with its whole body and legs.
In central Russia meets common buzzard (Buteo buteo) is common in the northern tundras zemnyak (B.
lagopus), in the steppes - kurgannik (Buteo rufinus). Since ancient times, hunting with birds of prey has been widespread in many countries. Currently, as a mass hobby, it has been preserved in the countries of the Arab world.
Horseback hunting with golden eagle can be seen in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Most diurnal birds of prey are classified as Falconiformes (Falconiformes):
Nocturnal birds of prey are represented by representatives of the order of owls (Strigiformes), which include two families:
About 270 species belong to this order. These are birds of medium and large size. One of the largest species, the American Condor, has a wing about 115 cm long, its wingspan is up to 275 cm.
The smallest birds of prey - the so-called dwarf falcon - have a wing length of 9-10 cm.
The birds of prey are characterized by a strong hook-like beak curved at the end, the base of which is covered with bare, brightly colored skin - a glove, into which the external openings of the nostrils open. Legs of birds of prey of moderate length, with curved and usually sharp claws (only secretaries have long legs). Claws and beak are used to kill, and the latter and for the dismemberment of prey. The fingers are relatively long; there are pads on the plantar side to hold the prey.
The constitution is dense, the plumage is rigid and tight to the body. The color is usually dull, mostly gray, brown, red or black, often with an admixture of white. In some carrion-fed species, the head and part of the neck are bare, non-feathered.
There are 10 primary primary feathers, the number of secondary primary feathers is different, most often 12, but in some well-hovering large species (for example, in the vultures) 19-20. The tail is usually short (the exception is the secretary), rounded or carved on the top, of 12 tail feathers (in some large species of 14).
Night predators: names of birds and a brief description
Birds of prey of Russia, which lead an active lifestyle at night and at dusk - this is primarily an eagle owl. They perfectly adapt to any conditions of life, they can be found in the cold mountains of Altai and in the hot areas bordering Turkmenistan.
Like many birds of prey, the owl was considered a harmful feathery. But he hunts primarily on rodents, that is, he himself destroys pests.
Owls, unlike owls, are purely nocturnal birds. They are considered the most ancient of predatory winged creatures: it is believed that the first owls appeared about 250 million years ago.
These nocturnal birds fly absolutely silently, have excellent hearing and can deftly seize the victim, their food, in total darkness.
The names of birds of prey, widespread in Russia
Zimnyak, in a different way, Furfooted Buzzard. The most common predatory feathered Russian tundra.
Osprey is a predator that prefers fish. It is distributed not only in Russia, but throughout the world, with the exception of the Antarctic zone.
Steppe Eagle - inhabits vast areas from the Black Sea coast to Transbaikalia.
Field harrier - lives everywhere in open areas near the taiga, in the tundra and forest tundra.
Watch the video about the power of birds of prey.
Buzzard (sarich) is a day hunter, a bird of prey of the Hawk family. In Russia lives in the Urals and Siberia, prefers to settle in the forests and forest tundra. The bird is of medium size, body length is about 55 cm, wingspan is up to 130 cm. It is hunted by small rodents and small birds, and during times of poor hunting it feeds on carrion. It flies to warm lands in the middle or end of August, or in the middle of September, returns to the nesting site in April or May. The buzzard lives and hunts alone, but is collected in flocks before departure. Buzzard builds nests of deciduous and coniferous trees, dry branches and brushwood, and braids grass stalks. In the laying of 3-4-5 eggs, laying occurs in April or May, the chicks appear in 33-36 days, both parents feed them up to the age of 44-50 days, when they fly out of the nest and begin to independently feed themselves. In general, buzzards are not bad parents, and in captivity can take care of other chicks.
Kobchik - day hunter of the Falcon family. The bird is not large, body length up to 33 cm, wing length up to 35 cm, wingspan up to 77 cm, weight about 200 grams. Although the buzzard is a bird of prey, it rarely catches small rodents, lizards and frogs, its main prey are large insects - beetles, grasshoppers, dragonflies. Sometimes sparrows and even pigeons come across his claws. Eggs are laid in other people's nests, surviving ravens from their places; they can choose a hollow in a tree trunk, or a hole, for themselves. There are 3-4 eggs in the clutch; the male takes almost no part in their incubation. Kobchik lives in whole colonies in which there can be up to one hundred pairs. The bird of migration flies in May, flies to Africa or southern Asia in August. Brood of chicks accounts for the appearance of a large number of insects, mainly dragonflies, which are the main food. In Russia, the red-footed falcon lives in the forest-steppes, on the shores of Baikal, in Yakutia, Primorsky Krai.
Kite - day hunter from the Hawk family. In Russia, you can see red and black kites, in total there are 8 species in nature. This is a bird of medium size, weighing a little more than 1 kg, but with long wings, their span is up to one and a half meters. In Russia, the kite lives almost everywhere, from the Smolensk region to the Far East, and from Arkhangelsk to the Caucasus Mountains.
The red kite is distinguished by a forked tail, but it does not possess special boldness and swiftness, like other relatives. The kite hunts in a rather peculiar way - it soars to a great height, and from there looks out for prey to rush at it suddenly, confuse and carry it in tenacious claws. Their prey - poultry chicks, as well as frogs, lizards, large insects, snakes, mice, hares. Nests are built on tall trees and are lined with found or stolen rags, paper, and other trash. In laying 2-3-4 eggs, the female incubates them. The black kite is slightly less red, and its plumage is darker. At the beginning of autumn the kite flies away to the warm countries of Africa or Asia, and returns to Russia in spring.
Gyrfalcon is a day predator of the Falcon family. Gyrfalcon is by right the largest falcon - its weight is about 2 kg, its wingspan is up to 140 cm, its body length is up to 60 cm. In Russia, the gyrfalcon lives in the northern regions, in the arctic and subarctic zones, in the Altai, in the Sayan mountains, in the Eastern Siberia. Some species of gyrfalcon migratory, some - sedentary, from the forest-tundra in the autumn they fly a little further south to the forests. The gyrfalcon hunts small and large mammals and birds; it can catch a hare, a partridge, a duck. A couple of gyrfalcons does not build a nest; it uses ravens or smaller birds of prey for laying eggs, if their nests are located in rocks, niches, cornices, and covered with a canopy. In laying 3-4 eggs, chicks appear in 30-35 days, from the nest take off in six weeks. Krechet is a good, valuable hunter, but he himself often becomes the prey of poachers, in the North in the summer can be caught in a trap set on an arctic fox
Filin, or Pugach
The eagle owl, or pugach, is a night hunter, a bird of the Owl family. The length of the body of an eagle owl reaches 75 cm, the wingspan is 190 cm, the weight is about 3 kg in females, and up to 2.5 kg in males. There are several species of eagle owls in Russia - the common eagle owl, the fish eagle owl, the bearded tawny owl, the long-tailed tawny owl. In Russia, the eagle owl lives wherever there is a food supply for it, namely - a large bird, hares, gophers, mice and other available animals. Therefore, the habitat of the owl in our country extends from Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands to the western borders. The owl can live and eat in various landscapes from taiga to steppe and deserts, but for reproduction it needs nooks in the form of forests, rocky slopes, ravines and hills. The bird is sedentary, is not afraid of man, and may settle down in the city in abandoned buildings.