Animals / Types of Birds / Eagles - Regal Birds of Prey

Eagles - Regal Birds of Prey


perched bird of prey

Golden Eagle

 

The eagles of the world are swift, powerful birds of prey long admired for their power, ferocity, and regal bearing. Strictly speaking, the term “eagle” is a fairly generic term applied to any large, swift, and powerful bird or group of birds of prey. All are characterized by a large, hooked bill, keen vision, and long, broad wings for lifting prey. The name “eagle” was originally applied to the largest birds of prey found in the northern hemispheres. The discovery of many species of tropical eagles that are smaller than some hawk species removed the eagle as the king of birds, at least in size.

The four groups of birds of prey that bear the name eagle are not very closely related. Some of them are more similar to harriers, others to kites, and still others to buteo hawks. In the order Falconiformes, there are two families, the slimmer and swifter falcons in the family Falconidae and then the other family Accipitrinae which is comprised of harriers, kites, accipiters, and eagles. And among the types of eagles, there are four groups - the sea eagles, snake or serpent eagles, crested eagles, and booted eagles. They range in size from the great Philippine eagle (the longest wingspan, a few others may be heavier or taller) to the Nicobar serpent-eagle, which occurs only on the Great Nicobar Island off the coast of Malaysia, and is smaller than many hawks.

 

 

 

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