Birds of prey are not the only birds that hunt for their food, have hooked beaks or eat meat but they are the only birds that do all of the above plus they fly super fast!
They also have one very distinctive feature: they kill with their feet.
Most predator birds are called raptors, from the Latin word “raptare” which means “to seize” because they seize their prey with their feet.
Vultures are a major exception and are not raptors. They have weak feet because they do not need to kill their prey or hunt for their food. Instead their powerful beak rips open carcasses of large animals.
Vultures are scavengers and are specialised at finding dead animals. They spend most of their time flying high in the sky scanning the earth for dead flesh which is also called carrion.
Many meat eating birds are not birds of prey. For example, magpies hunt and kill small birds. Ravens which belong to the crow family have strong pointed beaks which they use to kill young rabbits and shockingly even the occasional lamb.
Raptors are the only birds that kill with their feet however.
Female birds of prey are usually bigger than the males. In sparrowhawks, the female is twice the size of the male and female Merlins are usually one third heavier than males. This is average for falcons.
Vultures are the exception again, the males and females are the same size.
Raptors have been used for centuries as symbols for gods or emblems for armies.
Just look at the Coat of Arms.
Our life-like visual decoys such as the Prowler Owl and Visual Scare Hawke are used very successfully for Bird Control and also to control rodents and rabbits.
Our Sonic bird deterrents also play authentic sounds of Falcons and Eagles.
Using them together is very powerful.
I’d duck for cover if I saw and heard one too!