Threads: Birds of Prey

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There is something glorious (and a little frightening) about an eagle, soaring through the sky with her huge wingspan and sharpened talons ready to hunt. Eagles, along with hawks, owls, falcons, osprey and buzzards, make up what are known as raptors, or more commonly, Birds of Prey. The word raptor comes from the latin word to sieze, which alludes to the way that these birds catch their prey by picking them up with their feet and flying them off to a private dining spot.

Birds of Prey generally are characterized by having excellent vision, razor sharp beaks and talons, and a killer appetite for creatures such as rodents, snakes, fish, and even other birds.

Here are a few fun facts taken from the website "" where you can learn more about these stealthy fliers - plus some fantastic images of these powerful creatures from the Aminus3 community.

Buzzards are birds of prey that are found in several areas throughout the world. There are 25 known species of buzzards. They use their keen sense of sight, raptorial talons and hooked beaks to catch food.

The turkey buzzard will actually vomit if threatened, throwing up a horrific smelling bit of undigested meat which can make a predator run off.

There is no other bird of prey in the entire world that has a larger range than the osprey, with these skillful hunters inhabiting parts of every continent except for Antarctica.

Ospreys have been known to place their nest on bridges, buoys in the water, utility poles, and on man-made platforms in and around water that are designed specifically for this purpose. Ospreys will mate for life, and the pair of birds will return to the same nest year after year if possible.

Two species of eagles are native to North America, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). These large birds of prey have a wide geographic range in the United States, living in different kinds of habitats.

The bald eagle will spend its summer in its breeding territory across most of Canada, Alaska and along the Atlantic Coast. This eagle lives year-round in locations such as the Pacific Northwest's coast, in states like Idaho and western Montana and will winter along both coasts and in the central part of the nation.