Daytime Raptors: A Look In the Sky at Birds of Prey
In any given day, all different types of raptors spread their wings all over the world. They are divided into two groups, those that fly during the daytime commonly referred to as diurnal and those who come to life at night that are called nocturnal, or owls. One thing both the diurnal and nocturnal breeds have in common is that they both are birds of prey meaning they catch and eat animals or eat the remains of animals that have been killed (carcasses). Here’s a look at birds of prey that fly by day.
Falcons are among the most fascinating birds in existence. Falcons are daytime birds. Cartoons depict the majestic bird and sports teams have even named themselves after the bird that is characterized for bravery and strength. There are four groups that Falcons fall in: the Forest Falcons, the Pygmy, True Falcons and the Caracaras.
The Caracaras are the odd balls, not looking like falcons at all except for the eggs that they lay which are mottled brown. The Caracaras live in South and Central America with many of the Common Caracaras living within in the Southern United States. The bird is known to have very strong legs and to spend much of his time on the ground. They are also known to be very intelligent too.
Forest Falcons can be found in Central and South America. Not a whole lot is known about these birds although an endeavor to study them was embarked in 1992. It is known that they lay white eggs and live in nests that they build in tree cavities, caves and sometimes even in buildings.
The Pygmy is the smallest of the Falcons. It weighs in under 50 grams as adults and a tiny 5 grams at birth. These birds of prey nest in nests that have been abandoned by other birds and also nest in small holes in trees and other spots.
True Falcons include the Peregrine, the Gyrafalcon and the Eurasian Kestrel. They live in woodlands, farmlands, towns and most anywhere in South and North America. They like to eat small mammals, insects and reptiles too. One thing they do not do is to hover. While most birds of prey are known for their hovering, True Falcons do not do so. True Falcons often nest on the ground and others nest in trees or bushes.
Vultures are daytime birds too. They can be found in both South and North America. There are many types of Falcons like the Andean Condor which is the largest, the American Black Vulture which is the smallest and the Turkey Vulture, known for its keen sense of smell. The most colorful Vulture is the King Vulture.
Hawks and Eagles are popular birds of prey that grace the skies of North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia too. Actually Hawks, Eagles, Kites and Buzzards fall under the classification of Hawks. There are over 230 different species that fall into this group. These birds are known, as with all birds of prey, for their catching and eating of small creatures as well as their consumption of carcasses.
The Osprey is also known as the Sea Hawk and falls into a family all its own. It survives on fish and lives near the ocean. They can be found in every single continent in the world except for in Antarctica.
Daytime birds of prey can be observed most every day in most every country around the world. They are fascinating to watch and have become the object of study for many. Next time you get a chance, look up to the sky and catch a glimpse of these daytime raptors. You will be amazed.