Hawks, eagles, falcons, ospreys, owls, harriers: These are the raptors, also known as birds of prey. “Prey” refers to the fact that these birds are hunters. But what sets them apart from other birds that eat living animals for food, like an American Robin tugging an earthworm from the soil? One difference is the type and size of the prey. Birds of prey eat lizards, snakes, fish, mice, rabbits, and skunks, and even other birds.
Another difference is found in their other name. "Raptor" comes to us from the Latin word that means “to seize and carry away." That’s what birds of prey do: They use powerful feet to catch and carry animals away. Raptors fascinate people because of their skill and strength. When you take a closer look, these birds are wonders of nature and play an important role in Earth’s ecosystems.
Download the Audubon Aventures activity guide (attached below) for more resources and activities!
Join Our Flock
Signing up is the best way to keep up with Audubon's latest news, programs and initiatives.