Family:Kites, hawks and eagles
44cm to 52cm
100cm to 120cm
300g to 600g
The hen harrier earned its name from once targeting free-range fowl for their prey. This comes with the downside of being the most intensively persecuted bird of prey in the UK. This is because of the effect the hen harrier has on the grouse population, particularly limiting the number available to shoot. This is especially a problem on the driven grouse moors of Scotland and England.
Female hen harriers and juveniles are brown, with white rumps and long, barred tails. Males are more of a light grey colour.
Whilst in flight, these birds of prey hold their wings in a shallow 'V' shape and glide low whilst searching for prey - this is mainly voles and meadow pipits.
Their diets mainly consist of mammals and small birds.
Closely associated with rivers and coastlines, the majestic Bald Eagle is America's national bird. A symbol of strength and power, and a sacred symbol for many Native American peoples, these eagles are one of the most recognizable birds on Earth.
The Crowned eagle or African crowned eagle is a powerful eagle from the family Accipitridae which includes both eagles and many other birds of prey. Dubbed the ‘most powerful eagle in Africa’, the Crowned eagle is a long-lengthed bird of prey with a large wingspan of around 1.8m. Occupying diverse habitats stretching much of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Crowned eagle is capable of catching prey some 4 to 6 times its weight.
The Harpy Eagle is one of the most powerful and largest raptors, found throughout the Neotropical realm. Also, known as the Brazilian harpy eagle, or American harpy eagle, the species is monotypic meaning that no sub-species exist. The species has been allotted a “Near Threatened” status by the IUCN, meaning significant steps must be taken to conserve this wonderful bird of prey from extinction.
One of the world’s largest birds of prey, it is also known as Steller’s Fish Eagle, the White Shouldered Eagle and a Pacific Sea Eagle. The bird is monotypic meaning there are no subspecies.
Europe’s smallest eagle, the booted eagle, otherwise known as the Booted Hawk Eagle, prefers the warmer climes of southern Europe and south central Asia and whilst not threatened globally, its population within Europe is showing signs of decline.
A member of the sub-family of booted eagles due to its feather covered legs and named after the famous Italian ornithologist Franco Andrea Bonelli, the species is considered endangered across Europe but secure elsewhere within its range.
This long distance migrant is named after Colonel George Montagu (1753 – 1815), an Englishman who, upon retirement from the British army, became a renowned naturalist and author of an Alphabetical Synopsis of British Birds, published in 1802. There are 16 species of harrier today, all of which are recognised as elegant, soaring birds of prey of the genus Circus meaning circle.
Back from the brink of local extinction, the Marsh Harrier is a localised but increasingly common bird of prey in low-lying wetlands of the United Kingdom.
European Honey Buzzard
The European Honey-Buzzard, which is monotypic, is classified as a bird of prey and is one of six species of Honey-Buzzards from the family Accipitridae, which also includes Kites, Vultures, Harriers, Hawks and Eagles.
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