The Birds Of Prey of the Pacific Northwest
Birds Of Prey, lords of the air realm, forest hunters, warriors, the raptors. They are the predators that hunt with their powerful beaks, strong feet, and razor sharp talons. They have extraordinary eyesight and incredible hearing.
The term bird of prey is applied to two groups of birds, first is the vultures, eagles, hawks, and falcons, these are the day hunters. They are the raptors.
Then there are the night hunters, those that hunt in the dark. This group consists mostly of owls, which include the barred owl, barn owl, short eared owl, great gray owl, great horned owl, western screech owl, and the northern pygmy owl. There are 421 species of birds of prey in the world and 133 of them are owls.
These two groups of birds are the most threatened birds in the world. In the last 30 years, the destruction of their habitat by logging, mining and oil/gas extraction along with human encroachment has reduced their numbers dramatically worldwide and this is happening right here on our coast.
Man has sometimes thought of these birds as cruel and even hunted them almost to extinction for this reason. But like all the wild creatures on our coast, they are only doing what they need to in order to survive. There is no motive or malicious reason in their actions other than survival.
Our world has many varieties of birds and animals that live in balance with one another in the chain of life. Birds are a big part of this with many types, in all sizes. The birds of prey or raptors come with sharp hooked beaks, sharp talons, and an amazing eyesight that allows them to spot and home in on prey from great distances.
Birds of prey are carnivorous, they are easily identified by their hooked beaks and sharp talons to capture and tear apart their prey.. Therefore, these birds are the kings of the air.
The BC Coastal Region has many types of raptures that call it home, they are the eagles and falcons, the owls and ospreys, the hawks and vultures. They all play a roll and have their place in the ecosystem.
All raptors beaks are similar in design, curved at the tip with sharp cutting edges to rip and tear apart their prey. Falcons will sever the spinal cord of its victims with their sharp beaks.
These hunters, these birds of prey have very strong claws that end with sharp talons. These claws are very formidable. They are perfectly designed to capture, hold, and carry prey. These claws are quite powerful and can literally crush its prey to death. Osprey being fish eaters, have one hinged toe that can be held in a forward or backward position. This allows them to hold fish with two talons on each side for a secure grip. Osprey also have spiny scales on their feet that help them grip fish more securely.
Birds of prey have very keen eyesight with forward looking eyes, this allows them to home in on prey from a great distance. All raptors are meat eaters. Their diets may change from location and species but they all eat meat.