Lanner Falcon

lanier falcon

The lanner falcon is one of the few birds of prey to hunt cooperatively. One falcon flushes up a pigeon or other small bird from its hiding place; then the other swoops in to catch it. Instead of diving after prey like a peregrine falcon does, the lanner falcon flies in horizontally, reaching speeds up to 90 mph.

Rüppell’s Vulture

Africa Bird 1

When one vulture spots a carcass and flies down, the rest follow fast on its tail. At a scavenger dinner party, it’s first come, first served.

Lappet-faced Vulture

Africa Bird 2

One vulture on a carcass soon turns into an unruly mob of vultures, all fighting to get their share. As the largest vulture in Africa, the red-headed lappet-faced vulture dominates the chaos.

Barred owl

barred owl

Perched in a tree, the barred owl scans the forest floor for small creatures. Large, forward-facing eyes equip the owl with exceptional vision and an acute ability to judge distances. Soft, fringed feathers silent the owl’s flight as it swoops down to catch its unsuspecting prey.

Red-tailed Hawk

red tailed hawk

Preferring open country, the red-tailed hawk is often spotted atop telephone poles and tree branches alongside roads. From there, it can scan the ground below for small rodents or other prey. It also searches for prey as it soars high above on broad wings. A hawk’s eyesight is eight times better than our own.

Bald Eagle

bald eagle web

In the 1960’s, populations of our national symbol, the bald eagle, fell drastically.  Pesticides such as DDT accumulated in their prey and thus bald eagles, leading to infertile eggs or eggshells that were too thin.  Protection of the bald eagle and its habitat, banning of some pollutants and captive breeding and reintroduction are helping populations recover.

Eurasian Eagle Owl

eurasian eagle owl

With wings that can span up to six feet, the Eurasian eagle owl is one of the largest owls in the world. Its powerful yet silent wings enable this night hunter to stealthily swoop down and scoop up prey. They can even catch other birds in mid-air.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

steller sea eagle

Never far from water, the Steller’s sea eagle displays impressive fishing skills. Taking advantage of warm updrafts of air, the eagle glides above the water, looking out for fish. Its favorite prey, the salmon, has an extremely tough skin for which the eagle is equipped with a specialized hatchet-like beak. 

Barn Owl

barn owl web

The barn owl is a farmer’s best friend. By hunting mice and other small mammals, which it can catch in total darkness, the owl helps control the population of these pint-sized grain thieves.

Andean Condor

condor web

Andean condors are among the largest birds in the world that are able to fly. The condor relies on its huge wings—they have the largest wing area of any bird—and strong winds to stay aloft. While soaring overhead, the condor uses its excellent eyesight to search the land below for carcasses.