Birds of prey are one of the oldest inhabitants of our planet, and the largest of them is the vulture. The bird has the largest wingspan (about 3 m), and can reach a height of 1 meter. With such dimensions, the body weight will be about 10 kg. But this is not the only representative of large, winged predators. The hawk family includes about 220 species, these include: common buzzard, Steller's sea eagle, golden eagle, black vulture and many others. Consider some of the species in more detail.
Pacific or Steller's Eagle
This bird of the hawk family belongs to the order Falconiformes. The eagle is one of the rarest species of birds listed in the Red Book. To date, there are no more than 7,500 individuals of this bird. Habitats - the Far East, where the Steller's sea eagle nests. Outside of Russia, you can meet a bird only during the winter migration period, on the territory of Northern China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Sometimes you can see it on the Northwest coast of America.
If you do not take into account the scavengers, then the largest bird of prey is the Steller's sea eagle. The description of the species reveals some very interesting facts:
- Female sea eagles are very large,their weight can reach 9 kg, while the maximum weight of the male does not exceed 7.5 kg. They cannot be distinguished by other signs.
- The length of the bird (from crown to tail), just over a meter.
- Wingspan - 2.5 m.
- Black-brown plumage with snow-white inserts on the forehead, shins, wings and tail feathers looks impressive. Therefore, the Steller's sea eagle is considered one of the most beautiful feathered representatives of the fauna.
- Only adults have bright plumage. Juveniles lack white spots on wings.
- The beak and paws are bright yellow.
The bird feeds mainly on fish, which it catches in reservoirs, using a powerful grip with its paws and sharp claws. Occasionally, small birds living near water, as well as small mammals (for example, a baby seal) can become prey for an eagle.
A bird of the hawk family, the common buzzard (buzzard), was not much larger than the crow. The wingspan is just over a meter.
The habitat in Russia is very extensive. The bird can be found both in the West of the country and on the Far East coast. The common buzzard lives in most of the Eurasian continent. At times, it can be found even in the Arctic Circle. Some of the birds lead a sedentary lifestyle (a species that lives in Japan), while others go to winter in the warmer countries of Asia and the African continent. The buzzard returns to its native land in April.
This bird of the hawk family creates a nest in a tree where it lays its eggs. There can be up to 4 of them in a clutch. Their color is off-white, with red and brown patches.
The common buzzard has a unique coloration. It can range from dark brown to fawn.
Another very large representative of the Hawk family (Scavenger detachment), is the black vulture. The bird has a predominantly dark brown color, and only on the head this shade is somewhat lighter. Paws are powerful - gray. On the front of the head, areas of bare skin are visible. The feathers around the base of the neck look like a collar.
The bird builds large diameter nests on trees, about 2 meters, where it lays and incubates only 1 egg. In the European part of the Eurasian continent, the population is rapidly declining.
A black vulture has a wingspan of 3 m. In search of prey, the bird is able to travel hundreds of kilometers a day. Habitual Habitat:
- North Africa.
- Southern regions of Europe.
- Tibet and Central Asia.
The largest population of these birds lives in Spain.
In Russia, the black vulture is found in the Republic of Tuva, in the Altai and the Caucasus.
What is a vulture bird?
Another interesting bird of the hawk family is the vulture. This species belongs to the order of Scavengers. The origin of such an unusual feathered name is of particular interest. The fact is that"vulture" is a derivative of "bitch". Until the 19th century, the corpses of dead animals were called with this word, and since the bird feeds mainly on carrion, they began to call it the vulture.
Habitat Southern regions of Eurasia and Africa. On the territory of the Russian Federation, this bird is considered rare, it can only be found in the Caucasus.
The vulture has white plumage, and only the edges of the wings are painted black. There are no feathers on the head, and the skin has an orange or bright yellow tint. The wingspan is over 1.5m.
The bird eats the remains of dead animals, various garbage, even excrement, but sometimes it can eat fruit.
Vultures living on the African continent are devastating ostrich clutches, breaking eggshells on stones and eating the contents.