1 What is Raptor?
A Raptor is a carnivorous bird, but this word refers to all birds of prey. This word comes from the Latin word 'rapere,' which means to cease or grasp. This bird only captures live prey; they use their strong, sharp talons to catch their prey and defend themselves. Some of the birds in this category are hawks, eagles, kites, falcons, vultures, osprey, etc.
2 Essential characteristics
Raptors have to kill other creatures to make a living. A unique thing about them is that they can feed both during day time and even at night.
Few other features of raptors are, firstly, they have a hook shape beaked, which they use to kill and rip apart their prey. Secondly, they rely entirely on meat, and thirdly, they use their sharp talons and sturdy feet to seize the prey.
The size of raptors can vary greatly, but they are usually huge and bulky compared to other birds. This is the reason why they can hunt other big birds. They also have broad wings for powerful flight.
4 Hearing and vision
They have acute hearing and vision, as per a research, it is eight times more than humans. Their ears play a significant role in locating the prey as it helps them locate the source of sound more precisely.
Their vision is keen as their eyes are huge, which helps them locate their prey quickly. They hunt for food from the air, and their sight allows them to spot the target from a great distance. It is said that they have the keenest eyesight in nature.
5 Meat Diet
They are carnivorous and prefer eating just meat. But, the meat varies from bird to bird as some hunt snakes, small mammals, large insects, few of them hunt birds, and some are fish hunting experts.
Well, it is really tough to know about their precise lifespan, but it is estimated to be around five to six years. Consequently, a few of them cannot pass their first winters; this usually happens because of starvation.
Their nesting habits might differ as per their species. Some f their nesting habits are nesting and laying eggs on the ground, nesting and laying eggs in the sand, nesting and laying eggs in ground burrows of mammals, not building a nest but using stick nests, etc.
Their eggs are enormous, either round or oval in shape. The number of eggs they lay depends on the size of the raptor. You would be amazed to know that large raptors lay fewer eggs and vice versa.
9 Solitary Behavior
They are anti-social, unlike the other birds that you mostly see in flocks. They stay alone to avoid competition when they prey. You would see them together rarely, such as in peak migration period or at winter feeding grounds.