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Birds of prey, also known as raptors, hunt and feed on other animals. The term "raptor" is derived from the Latin word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force).<ref name=brown>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> These birds are characterized by keen vision that allows them to detect prey during flight and powerful talons and beaks.

Many species of birds may be considered partly or exclusively predatory. However, in ornithology, the term "bird of prey" applies only to birds of the families listed below. Taken literally, the term "bird of prey" has a wide meaning that includes many birds that hunt and feed on animals and also birds that eat very small insects.<ref name=Burton/> In ornithology, the definition for "bird of prey" has a narrower meaning: birds that have very good eyesight for finding food, strong feet for holding food, and a strong curved beak for tearing flesh.<ref name=Perrins/> Most birds of prey also have strong curved talons for catching or killing prey.<ref name=Perrins>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> An example of this difference in definition, the narrower definition excludes storks and gulls, which can eat quite large fish, partly because these birds catch and kill prey entirely with their beaks,<ref name=Burton>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> and similarly bird-eating skuas, fish-eating penguins, and vertebrate-eating kookaburras are excluded. Birds of prey generally prey on vertebrates, which are usually quite large relative to the size of the bird.<ref name=Burton/> Most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source.<ref name=Perrins/> Many raptor species are considered apex predators.


Bird of prey sections
Intro  Classification  Historical classifications  Common names  Migration  Sexual dimorphism  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}}

Birds of prey, also known as raptors, hunt and feed on other animals. The term "raptor" is derived from the Latin word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force).<ref name=brown>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> These birds are characterized by keen vision that allows them to detect prey during flight and powerful talons and beaks.

Many species of birds may be considered partly or exclusively predatory. However, in ornithology, the term "bird of prey" applies only to birds of the families listed below. Taken literally, the term "bird of prey" has a wide meaning that includes many birds that hunt and feed on animals and also birds that eat very small insects.<ref name=Burton/> In ornithology, the definition for "bird of prey" has a narrower meaning: birds that have very good eyesight for finding food, strong feet for holding food, and a strong curved beak for tearing flesh.<ref name=Perrins/> Most birds of prey also have strong curved talons for catching or killing prey.<ref name=Perrins>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> An example of this difference in definition, the narrower definition excludes storks and gulls, which can eat quite large fish, partly because these birds catch and kill prey entirely with their beaks,<ref name=Burton>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> and similarly bird-eating skuas, fish-eating penguins, and vertebrate-eating kookaburras are excluded. Birds of prey generally prey on vertebrates, which are usually quite large relative to the size of the bird.<ref name=Burton/> Most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source.<ref name=Perrins/> Many raptor species are considered apex predators.


Bird of prey sections
Intro  Classification  Historical classifications  Common names  Migration  Sexual dimorphism  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Classification
<<>>