The African Crowned Eagle is a very large, powerful, crested bird of prey found in sub-Saharan Africa; in Southern Africa it is restricted to suitable habitat in the eastern areas.
It mainly inhabits dense forests. Its staple diet consists of monkeys and other medium-sized mammals. To a far lesser extent, birds and large lizards are also taken. However, 98% of the diet is mammalian.
While it, on average, weighs less and has a smaller wing-span than the Martial Eagle, the Crowned Eagle is Africa's most powerful and ferocious eagle in terms of the weight and nature of prey taken. It mainly preys on mammals such as Duikers, weighing up to 30 kg. Due to their similarities, the Crowned Eagle is often considered Africa's analogue of the Harpy Eagle.
The Andean Condor is a species of South American bird. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, it has the largest wing span of any land bird.
It is a large black vulture with a ruff of white feathers surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large white patches on the wings. The head and neck are nearly featherless, and are a dull red color, which may flush and therefore change color in response to the bird's emotional state. In the male, there is a wattle on the neck and a large, dark red comb or caruncle on the crown of the head. Unlike most birds of prey, the male is larger than the female.
The condor is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion. It prefers large carcasses, such as those of deer or cattle. It nests at elevations of up to 16,000 ft, generally on inaccessible rock ledges. One or two eggs are usually laid. It is one of the world's longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 100 years.
Although it is on average about 5 cm shorter from beak to tail than the California Condor, the Andean Condor is larger in wingspan, which ranges from 280 to 320 cm. It is also typically heavier, reaching a weight of 15 kg for males and 14 kg for females. Overall length can reach to 135 cm.
The adult plumage is a uniform black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large patches or bands of white on the wings which do not appear until the completion of the bird's first moulting. The head and neck are red to blackish-red and have few feathers. The head and neck are meticulously kept clean by the bird, and their baldness is an adaptation for hygiene, allowing the skin to be exposed to the sterilizing effects of dehydration and ultraviolet light at high altitudes. The crown of the head is flattened. In the male, the head is crowned with a dark red caruncle or comb, while the skin of his neck lies in folds, forming a wattle. The skin of the head and neck is capable of flushing noticeably in response to emotional state, which serves to communicate between individuals. Juveniles have a grayish-brown general coloration, blackish head and neck skin, and a brown ruff.
The middle toe is greatly elongated, and the hind one is only slightly developed, while the talons of all the toes are comparatively straight and blunt. The feet are thus more adapted to walking, and are of little use as weapons or organs of prehension as in birds of prey. The beak is hooked, and adapted to tear rotting meat. The irises of the male are brown, while those of the female are deep red. The eyelids lack eyelashes.
Contrary to the usual rule for sexual dimorphism among birds of prey, the female is smaller than the male.
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird of the United States of America and appears on its Seal. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.
Its diet consists mainly of fish, but it is an opportunistic feeder. It hunts fish by swooping down and snatching them out of the water with its talons. It is sexually mature at four years or five years of age. The Bald Eagle builds the largest nest of any North American bird, up to 13 ft deep, 8.2 ft wide, and one metric ton in weight.
The Bateleur Eagle is a medium-sized eagle. This is a common resident species of the open savanna country in Sub-Saharan Africa. It nests in trees, laying a single egg which is incubated by the female for 42 to 43 days, with a further 90 to 125 days until fledging.
Bateleurs pair for life, and will use the same nest for a number of years. Unpaired birds, presumably from a previous clutch, will sometimes help at the nest.
The Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail which makes it unmistakable in flight. The adult male is 75 cm long with a 175 cm wingspan. He has black plumage except for the chestnut mantle and tail, grey shoulders, and red facial skin, bill and legs.
The female is similar to the male except that she has grey rather than black secondary flight feathers. Immature birds are brown with white dappling and have greenish facial skin. It takes them seven or eight years to reach full maturity.
The eagle hunts over a territory of 250 square miles a day. The prey of this raptor is mostly birds, including pigeons and sandgrouse, and also small mammals; it also takes carrion.
''Bateleur'' is French for ''tight-rope walker''. This name describes the bird’s characteristic habit of tipping the ends of its wings when flying, as if catching its balance.
In some countries, outside of its natural distribution, the Bateleur is occasionally known as the Conifer Eagle OR Pine Eagle, since its feathers somewhat resemble a conifer cone when it fluffs itself up.
The black eagle breeds in tropical Asia. Race perniger is found in the Himalayan foothills west through Nepal into northeastern Murree in the forests of the Eastern and Western Ghats in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The species also extends into the Aravalli range of northwestern India.
The black eagle is a large raptor at about 70–80 cm in length and 164–178 cm in wingspan, with a weight of between 1000 and 1600 grams. Adults have all-black plumage, with a yellow bill base (cere) and feet. The wings are long and pinched in at the innermost primaries giving a distinctive shape. The tail shows faint barring and upper tail covers paler. When perched the wing tips reach till or exceed the tail tip. The wings are held in a shallow V (wings just above the horizontal plane) in flight. Seen on hot afternoons, scouring the treetops for a nest to maraud, this bird is easily spotted by its jet black colour, large size, and a 'characteristic' slow flight, sometimes just above the canopy.
Sexes are similar, but young birds have a buff head, underparts and underwing coverts. The wing shape helps to distinguish this species from the dark form of crested hawk-eagle. The tarsi are fully feathered and the toes are relatively stout and short with long claws (particularly on the inner toe) that are less strongly curved than in other birds of prey.
The Black Kite is a medium-sized bird of prey. Unlike others of the group, they are opportunistic hunters and are more likely to scavenge. They spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food. Their angled wing and distinctive forked tail make them easy to identify. This kite is widely distributed through the temperate and tropical parts of Eurasia and parts of Australasia, with the temperate region populations tending to be migratory. Several subspecies are recognized and formerly with their own English names. The European populations are small, but the South Asian population is very large.
The Black Kite can be distinguished from the Red Kite by its slightly smaller size, less forked tail, visible in flight and generally dark plumage without any rufous. The upper plumage is brown but the head and neck tend to be paler. The patch behind the eye appears darker. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The lower parts of the body are pale brown, becoming lighter towards the chin. The body feathers have dark shafts giving it a streaked appearance. The cere and gape are yellow but the bill is black (unlike in the Yellow-billed Kite). The legs are yellow and the claws are black. They have a distinctive shrill whistle followed by a rapid whinnying call.
The Black Vulture range extends from the southeastern United States to Central Chile and Uruguay in South America. Although a common and widespread species, it has a somewhat more restricted distribution than its compatriot, the Turkey Vulture, which breeds well into Canada and south to Tierra del Fuego. Despite the similar name and appearance, this species is unrelated to the Eurasian Black Vulture.
It inhabits relatively in open areas which provide scattered forests or shrublands. With a wingspan of 5 ft the Black Vulture is a large bird though relatively small for a vulture. It has black plumage, a featherless, grayish-black head and neck, and a short, hooked beak.
The Black Vulture is a scavenger and feeds on carrion, but will also eat eggs or kill newborn animals. In areas populated by humans, it also feeds at garbage dumps. It finds its meals either by using its keen eyesight or by following other vultures, which possess a keen sense of smell. It lays its eggs in caves or hollow trees or on the bare ground, and generally raises two chicks each year, which it feeds by regurgitation.
The Black-eared Kite is a medium-sized bird of prey. Unlike others of the group, they are opportunistic hunters and are more likely to scavenge. They spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food. Their angled wing and distinctive forked tail make them easy to identify.
The Black-eared Kite can be distinguished from the Red Kite by its slightly smaller size, less forked tail, visible in flight and generally dark plumage without any rufous. The upper plumage is brown but the head and neck tend to be paler. The patch behind the eye appears darker. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The lower parts of the body are pale brown, becoming lighter towards the chin. The body feathers have dark shafts giving it a streaked appearance. The cere and gape are yellow but the bill is black (unlike in the Yellow-billed Kite). The legs are yellow and the claws are black. They have a distinctive shrill whistle followed by a rapid whinnying call.
The Black-shouldered Kite is a ashy gray bird with black patches on the shoulder, conspicuous at rest as well as in flight. Seen in singles in fringes of the forest and in grassland hovering in the mid-air to scan the ground and drops down on prey. Food : Insects, mice & lizards.
This is a small-to medium sized eagle. The upperparts are dark brown, and the underside is white with dark streaks. The wings are relatively short and rounded. The long tail is grey on top and white below and has a single broad black terminal band. The feet and eyes are yellow. Immature birds have deep buff underparts and underwing coverts, and have fine barring on the tail without the terminal band.
The Bonelli's eagle takes a wide range of live prey, all taken alive. It usually hunts from cover by a quick dash from inside a tree, but it will also catch prey by quartering hill slopes like other eagles, or make a stoop from a soaring position. Most prey is taken on the ground.
This eagle takes large prey items, usually mammals or birds. Mammals up to the size of a hare are regularly taken, and birds up to guineafowl size.
The Booted Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about 50 cm in length and has a wingspan of 120 cm. It breeds in southern Europe, North Africa and across Asia. It is migratory, wintering in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This eagle lays 1-2 eggs in a tree or crag nest. Booted Eagle showing the 'Landing Lights' white markings on the wings/shoulders. An aid to identify this raptor.It hunts small mammals, reptiles and birds up to 5 times its own weight.
The Brahmany Kite is a familiar sight in the skies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and southeast Asia and as far south as New South Wales, Australia, through which region it is widespread and resident.
It has a typical kite flight, with wings angled, but its tail is rounded unlike the Milvus species, Red Kite and Black Kite, which have forked tails. The Brahminy Kite is an attractive bird, with chestnut plumage except for the white head and breast and black wing tips.
The juveniles are browner, but can be distinguished from both the resident and migratory races of Black Kite in Asia by the paler appearance, shorter wings and rounded tail. This species nests in trees, often close to water. It feeds as a scavenger, particularly on dead fish and crabs, especially in wetlands and marshland. The call is a mewing keeyew. Brahmany Kite is the official mascot of Jakarta.
The Crested Hawk-Eagle is a slender forest bird of prey with many confusing color phases, normally brown above and white below with black streaks on throat and on breast. Long narrow crest projecting behind the head. Seen in singles in well-wooded area, perched bolt upright high.
The Crested Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. They fly over the forest canopy on broad wings and tail have wide white and black bars. They call often with a loud, piercing and familiar three or two-note call. They often feed on snakes, giving them their name.
This medium-large, dark brown eagle is stocky, with rounded wings and a short tail. Its short black and white fan-shaped nuchal crest gives it a thick-necked appearance. The bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted with white and yellowish-brown. When perched the wing tips do not reach until the tail tip. In soaring flight, the broad and paddle-shaped wings are held in a shallow V. The tail and underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. Young birds show a lot of white on the head. The tarsus is un-feathered and covered by hexagonal scales. The upper mandible does not have an overhanging festoon to the tip.
The eastern imperial eagle is a large species of bird of prey that breeds from southeastern Europe to western and central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, and southern and eastern Asia.
The eastern imperial eagle is a large eagle with a length of 35 in, a wingspan of 7.1 ft and a weight of 4.5 kgs. Females are about a quarter larger than males.
The Egyptian vulture is widely distributed; found from southwestern Europe and northern Africa to India. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them. The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest.
Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary. Populations of this species have declined in the 20th century and some island populations are endangered by hunting, accidental poisoning, and collision with power lines.
The Greater Spotted Eagle is a medium-sized eagle. It is 70 cm in length and has a wingspan of 180 cm. Typical body mass of 2.5 kg with an occasional big female weighing up to 3.5 kg. Head and wing coverts are very dark brown and contrast with the generally medium brown plumage. The head is small for an eagle.
There is often a less obvious white patch on the upper-wings, but a light crescent on the primary remiges is a good field mark. The white V mark on the rump is less clear-cut in adults. The juvenile has white spots all over its wings and lacks a lighter nape patch.
In winter, it occurs in the range of the Indian Spotted Eagle. From this recently-validated relative, it can be distinguished by the darker color and lighter eye (not darker than the body plumage at distance, lighter at close range), and in juveniles, the strong spotting. It is also a bit larger – though this cannot be reliably estimated in the field – and in the winter quarters prefers wetland habitat.
The grey-headed fish eagle is a large stocky raptor at about 75 cm in length. Adults have dark brown wings and back, a grey head and reddish brown breast. The lower belly, thighs and tail are white, the latter having a black terminal band. Sexes are similar, but young birds have a pale buff head, underparts and underwing, all with darker streaking.
The grey-headed fish eagle breeds in the forests of the Indian subcontinent east to Southeast Asia. It builds a stick nest in a tree near water and lays two to four eggs. It is a specialist fish eater which hunts over lakes, lagoons, and large rivers.
It is hatched naked, with a very white head, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It has a white neck ruff and yellow bill. The buff body and wing coverts contrast with the dark flight feathers.
Like other vultures, it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over open areas, often moving in flocks. It establishes nesting colonies in cliffs that are undisturbed by humans while coverage of open areas and availability of dead animals within dozens of kilometres of these cliffs is high. It grunts and hisses at roosts or when feeding on carrion.
It breeds on crags in mountains in southern Europe, north Africa, and Asia, laying one egg. Griffon vultures may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident. Juveniles and immature individuals may migrate far or embark on long-distance movements.
The white-rumped vulture is a typical, medium-sized vulture, with an unfeathered head and neck, very broad wings, and short tail feathers. It is much smaller than the Eurasian Griffon. It has a white neck ruff. The adult's whitish back, rump, and underwing coverts contrast with the otherwise dark plumage. The body is black and the secondaries are silvery grey. The head is tinged in pink and bill is silvery with dark ceres. The nostril openings are slit-like. Juveniles are largely dark and take about four or five years to acquire the adult plumage. In flight, the adults show a dark leading edge of the wing and has a white wing-lining on the underside. The undertail coverts are black.
The Marsh-harrier is a large raptor from temperate and subtropical western Eurasia and adjacent Africa. The Marsh harrier is 55 cm in length, and has a wingspan of 130 cm; and a weight of 650 gm. It is a large, bulky harrier with fairly broad wings. The male's plumage is mostly a cryptic reddish-brown with lighter yellowish streaks, which are particularly prominent on the breast. The head and shoulders are mostly pale grayish-yellowish. The rectrices and the secondary and tertiary remiges are pure grey, the latter contrasting with the brown fore-wing and the black primary remiges at the wingtips. The upper-side and underside of the wing look similar, though the brown is lighter on the under-wing. Whether from the side or below, flying males appear characteristically three-colored brown-grey-black. The legs, feet, irides and the cere of the black bill are yellow.
The female is almost entirely chocolate-brown. The top of the head, the throat and the shoulders have of a conspicuously lighter yellowish color; this can be clearly delimited and very contrasting, or (particularly in worn plumage) be more washed-out, resembling the male's head colors. But the eye area of the female is always darker, making the light eye stand out, while the male's head is altogether not very contrastingly colored and the female lacks the grey wing-patch and tail. Juveniles are similar to females, but usually have less yellow, particularly on the shoulders.
The Montagu's harrier is a migratory bird of prey of the harrier family. It has a particularly graceful flight, with powerful and elegant wingbeats which give an impression of buoyancy and ease. In true harrier fashion it searches the countryside, flying low, and generally holds its wings with a marked positive dihedral.
Adult males are characterized by their overall pale grey plumage contrasting with black wingtips. Compared with other harriers this species has characteristic black bands along the secondaries, both above and below the wing and rusty streaks on belly and flanks.
Adult females have a broadly similar plumage to that of pallid and hen harriers. The underparts are mostly pale yellow-brown, the belly with longitudinal stripes and the wing coverts spotted. The upper parts are uniform dark brown except for the white upper tail coverts, and the sightly paler central wing coverts.
The Oriental Honey Buzzard appears long-necked with a small head [resembling that of a pigeon], and soars on flat wings. The head lacks a strong supraciliary ridge giving it a very un-raptor-like facial appearance. It has a long tail and a short head crest. It is brown above, but not as dark as Honey Buzzard, and paler below. There is a dark throat stripe. Unusually for a large bird of prey, the sexes can be distinguished. The male has a blue-grey head, while the female's head is brown. She is slightly larger and darker than the male. The male has a black tail with a white band, whilst the female resembles female Honey Buzzard.
It breeds in Asia from central Siberia east to Japan. It is a summer migrant to Siberia, wintering in tropical south east Asia. Elsewhere it is more-or-less resident. It is a specialist feeder, living mainly on the larvae and nests of wasps, although it will take other small insect prey such as cicadas.
The Osprey is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm in length and 180 cm across the wings. It is brown on the upper-parts and predominantly grayish on the head and underparts.
The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica, although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.
Pallas's fish eagle is a large, brownish sea-eagle. It breeds in Central Asia, between the Caspian Sea and the Yellow Sea, from Kazakhstan and Mongolia to the Himalayas, Bangladesh and northern India. It is partially migratory, with central Asian birds wintering among the southern Asian birds in northern India, and also further west to the Persian Gulf.
It has a light brown hood over a white face. The wings are dark brown and the back rufous, darker underneath. The tail is black with a wide, distinctive white stripe. Underwings have a white band. Juveniles are overall darker with no band on the tail.
The pallid harrier is a migratory bird of prey of the harrier family. It breeds in southern parts of eastern Europe and central Asia (such as Iran) and winters mainly in India and southeast Asia.
This medium-sized raptor breeds on open plains, bogs and heathland. In winter it is a bird of open country. This is a typical harrier, with long wings held in a shallow V in its low flight. It also resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumages.
Adults measure 48 cm long with a wingspan of 120 cm. Males weigh 315 g while the slightly larger females weigh 445 g. The male is whitish grey above and white below, with narrow black wingtips. It differs from the hen harrier in its smaller size, narrower wings, pale colour different wing tip pattern.
The female is brown above with white upper tail coverts. Underparts are buff streaked with brown. It is best distinguished from the female hen harrier on structure. It is very similar to the female Montagu's harrier, but has darker and more uniform secondaries from below.
The Short-toed Snake Eagle a medium-sized bird of prey. Adults are 70 cm long with an 200 cm wingspan and weigh 2 kg. They can be recognized in the field by their predominantly white underside, the upper parts being greyish brown. The chin, throat and upper breast are a pale, earthy brown. The tail has 3 or 4 bars. Additional indications are an owl-like rounded head, brightly yellow eyes and lightly barred under wing.
The Short-toed Snake Eagle is an accomplished flyer and spends more time on the wing than do most members of its genus. It favors soaring over hill slopes and hilltops on updraughts, and it does much of its hunting from this position at heights of up to 500 meters. When quartering open country it frequently hovers like a Kestrel. When it soars it does so on flattish wings.
The steppe eagle is about 32 in in length and has a wingspan of 7.1 ft. Females, weighing 4.9 kg are slightly larger than males
The steppe eagle breeds from Romania east through the south Russian and Central Asian steppes to Mongolia. The European and Central Asian birds winter in Africa, and the eastern birds in India. It lays 1–3 eggs in a stick nest in a tree. Throughout its range it favours open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert, steppes, or savannah.
This is a large eagle although it is one of the smaller species in the Aquila genus. It is 60-75 cm (24-30 in) in length. It has tawny upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. The lower back is very pale. This species is smaller and paler than the Steppe eagle, although it does not share that species' pale throat.
Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage colour.
The tawny eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, reptiles and birds up to the size of guineafowl. It will also steal food from other raptors.
The call of the tawny eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.
The Turkey Vulture is a bird found throughout most of the Americas. It is also known in some North American regions as the Turkey Buzzard, and in some areas of the Caribbean as the John Crow or Carrion Crow. It inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrublands, pastures, and deserts. A large bird, it has a wingspan of 183 cm, a length of 81 cm, and weight of 3 kg. It has dark brown to black plumage; a featherless, purplish-red head and neck; and a short, hooked, ivory-colored beak. Its life span of over 30 years being possible.
The Turkey Vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its meals using its keen vision and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gasses produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals. In flight, it uses thermals to move through the air, flapping its wings infrequently. It roosts in large community groups. It nests in caves, hollow trees, or thickets. Each year it generally raises two chicks, which it feeds by regurgitation. It has very few natural predators.
The body feathers are mostly brownish-black, but the flight feathers on the wings appear to be silvery-gray beneath, contrasting with the darker wing linings. The adults head is small in proportion to its body and is red in color with few to no feathers. It also has a relatively short, hooked, ivory-colored beak. The irises of the eyes are gray-brown; legs and feet are pink-skinned, although typically stained white. The eye has a single incomplete row of eyelashes on the upper lid and two rows on the lower lid.
The two front toes of the foot are long and have small webs at their bases. The feet are flat, relatively weak, and poorly adapted to grasping. In flight, the tail is long and slim, in contrast to that of the Black Vulture. The nostrils are not divided by a septum, but rather are perforate; from the side one can see through the beak. It undergoes a molt in late winter to early spring. It is a gradual molt, which lasts until early autumn. The immature bird has a gray head with a black beak tip; the colors change to those of the adult as the bird matures. Lifespan is about 21 years.
The White-bellied Sea Eagle is a large bird of prey in the family which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers.
It is resident from India through southeast Asia to Australia on coasts and major waterways. This large eagle is very distinctive. The adult has white head, breast underwing coverts and tail. The upperparts are grey and the black underwing flight feathers contrast with the white coverts. The tail is short and wedge-shaped as in all Haliaeetus species.