Birds of Prey | Raptors

Birds of prey, or raptors, are a species of bird that hunt and feed on relatively large vertebrates. While some other birds hunt live animals, birds of prey are distinguished by their keen eyesight, sharp talons, and curved beaks. Even though birds of prey typically hunt living animals, they will also feed on already dead animals as well, with condors and vultures feeding off carrion primarily. There are 6 different groups of birds of prey, with 446 different species worldwide. Birds of prey can vary in size from the small Falconet at roughly 6 inches (15 cm) in length, to the large Andean Condor with a wingspan of 10 feet (3 meters).

How do you attract birds of prey?

Birds of prey are attracted by a habitat that allows them to prey. Birds of prey need live prey, water, and nesting spaces. The habitat can be created by letting grass grow in a field which will allow for rodents in open areas. It is essential to keep an area natural and inviting to attract birds of prey.

What do birds of prey eat?

Birds of prey have a carnivorous diet, but their diet varies based on their species. Typically, the larger the bird of prey the larger their potential target will be, but many may choose smaller meals when small prey is abundant. The most common prey includes large insects, fish, small mammals, small birds, large birds, medium mammals, carrion, reptiles, and amphibians.

Where do birds of prey live?

Birds of prey are able to live on every continent and all habitats of the world. They are found in dense jungles, deserts, seacoasts, plains, as well as tall mountains. Birds of prey are also able to live in woodland, farmland, and even cities.

Birds of Prey Guides
Browse through our curated Birds of Prey Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Birds of Prey. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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5.7”-8.1” | 14.5-20.5 cm
19.7”-24” | 50-61 cm (Wingspan)
8.7”-12.2” | 22-31 cm
.18-.36 lb | .08-.165 kg
5-11 years
American Kestrel
20.500
61.000
31.000
0.165
11.00
25500
3D
American Kestrel
25.4”-33.7” | 64.5-85.5 cm
106.3”-130” | 270-330 cm (Wingspan)
39.4”-52” | 100-132 cm
17-33.1 lb | 7.7-15 kg
50-75 years
Andean Condor
85.500
330.000
132.000
15.000
75.00
45450
3D
Andean Condor
16.9”-24.2” | 43-61.5 cm
70”-90” | 178-229 cm (Wingspan)
27.6”-39.4” | 70-100 cm
6.5-14 lb | 2.95-6.35 kg
20-30 years
Bald Eagle
61.500
229.000
100.000
6.350
30.00
272400
3D
Bald Eagle
Barn Owl
201000
12.2”-15.2” | 31-38.5 cm
31.5”-43.3” | 80-110 cm (Wingspan)
12.6”-15.75” | 32-40 cm
.55-1.26 lb | .25-.57 kg
4-15 years
Barn Owl
38.500
110.000
40.000
0.570
15.00
201000
3D
Barn Owl
19.3”-26.2” | 49-66.5 cm
90.6”-112.2” | 230-285 cm (Wingspan)
37”-49.2” | 94-125 cm
8.2-15.7 lb | 3.7-7.1 kg
21-45 years
Bearded Vulture
66.500
285.000
125.000
7.100
45.00
31900
3D
Bearded Vulture
5.3”-8.9” | 13.5-22.5 cm
20”-24” | 51-61 cm (Wingspan)
6.7”-11” | 17-28 cm
.29-.57 lb | .13-.26 kg
6-11 years
Burrowing Owl
22.500
61.000
28.000
0.260
11.00
34200
3D
Burrowing Owl
30.3”-37.4” | 77-95 cm
106.3”-126” | 270-320 cm (Wingspan)
42.9”-52.8” | 109-134 cm
18.7-26.5 lb | 8.5-12 kg
30-60 years
California Condor
95.000
320.000
134.000
12.000
60.00
53200
3D
California Condor
11.6”-16.7” | 29.5-42.5 cm
43.3”-51.2” | 110-130 cm (Wingspan)
17.7”-25.6” | 45-65 cm
1.2-2.9 lb | .55-1.3 kg
20-29 years
Common Buzzard
42.500
130.000
65.000
1.300
29.00
21900
3D
Common Buzzard
8.1”-9.4” | 20.5-24 cm
26.8”-31.5” | 68-80 cm (Wingspan)
13”-15.4” | 33-39 cm
.31-.68 lb | .14-.31 kg
15-18 years
Common Kestrel
24.000
80.000
39.000
0.310
18.00
33500
3D
Common Kestrel
4.1”-6.7” | 10.5-17 cm
18.1”-24” | 46-61 cm (Wingspan)
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm
.26-.55 lb | .12-.25 kg
14-21 years
Eastern Screech Owl
17.000
61.000
25.000
0.250
21.00
18100
3D
Eastern Screech Owl
14.2”-19.5” | 36-49.5 cm
52”-59.8” | 132-152 cm (Wingspan)
19.7”-27.2” | 50-69 cm
2.2-4.6 lb | .98-2.08 kg
16-24 years
Ferruginous Hawk
49.500
152.000
69.000
2.080
24.00
10200
3D
Ferruginous Hawk
19.7”-23.6” | 50-60 cm
72.8”-88.6” | 185-225 cm (Wingspan)
29.5”-35.4” | 75-90 cm
6.2-14.8 lb | 2.8-6.7 kg
30-48 years
Golden Eagle
60.000
225.000
90.000
6.700
48.00
235500
3D
Golden Eagle
9.6”-14.2” | 24.5-36 cm
35.8”-59.8” | 91-152 cm (Wingspan)
16.9”-25.2” | 43-64 cm
2-5.5 lb | .9-2.5 kg
13-35 years
Great Horned Owl
36.000
152.000
64.000
2.500
35.00
106000
3D
Great Horned Owl
25.8”-33.1” | 65.5-84 cm
90.6”-110.2” | 230-280 cm (Wingspan)
37.4”-48” | 95-122 cm
13.2-33.1 lb | 6-15 kg
35-42 years
Griffon Vulture
84.000
280.000
122.000
15.000
42.00
20700
3D
Griffon Vulture
14.6”-19.3” | 37-49 cm
43.3”-63” | 110-160 cm (Wingspan)
18.9”-25.6” | 48-65 cm
1.8-4.6 lb | .8-2.1 kg
12-25 years
Gyrfalcon
49.000
160.000
65.000
2.100
25.00
17700
3D
Gyrfalcon
21.7”-26.6” | 55-67.5 cm
69.3”-88.2” | 176-224 cm (Wingspan)
34.3”-42.9” | 87-109 cm
8.8-19.8 lb | 4-9 kg
25-35 years
Harpy Eagle
67.500
224.000
109.000
9.000
35.00
293500
3D
Harpy Eagle
11.8”-15.2” | 30-38.5 cm
38.2”-48” | 97-122 cm (Wingspan)
16.1”-20.5” | 41-52 cm
.64-1.39 lb | .29-.63 kg
8-17 years
Hen Harrier
38.500
122.000
52.000
0.630
17.00
13900
3D
Hen Harrier
8.3”-9.1” | 21-23 cm
29.5”-32.7” | 75-83 cm (Wingspan)
13.4”-14.6” | 34-37 cm
.46-.86 lb | .21-.39 kg
7-11 years
Mississippi Kite
23.000
83.000
37.000
0.390
11.00
9450
3D
Mississippi Kite
16.9”-20.1” | 43-51 cm
42.1”-47.2” | 107-120 cm (Wingspan)
19.3”-22.8” | 49-58 cm
2-3.5 lb | .9-1.6 kg
18-30 years
Northern Crested Caracara
51.000
120.000
58.000
1.600
30.00
2700
3D
Northern Crested Caracara
9.8”-12.8” | 25-32.5 cm
38.2”-48” | 97-122 cm (Wingspan)
16.1”-20.5” | 41-52 cm
.64-1.65 lb | .29-.75 kg
8-17 years
Northern Harrier
32.500
122.000
52.000
0.750
17.00
15060
3D
Northern Harrier
Osprey
444000
11.4”-16.3” | 29-41.5 cm
50”-70.9” | 127-180 cm (Wingspan)
16.9”-24” | 43-61 cm
2.4-4.4 lb | 1.1-2 kg
25-32 years
Osprey
41.500
180.000
61.000
2.000
32.00
444000
3D
Osprey
8.1”-13” | 20.5-33 cm
29.1”-47.2” | 74-120 cm (Wingspan)
14.2”-22.8” | 36-58 cm
.73-3.3 lb | .33-1.5 kg
15-25 years
Peregrine Falcon
33.000
120.000
58.000
1.500
25.00
205000
3D
Peregrine Falcon
8.3”-10.6” | 21-27 cm
35.4”-44.5” | 90-113 cm (Wingspan)
15”-19.7” | 38-50 cm
1.1-2.1 lb | .5-.95 kg
15-20 years
Prairie Falcon
27.000
113.000
50.000
0.950
20.00
5970
3D
Prairie Falcon
24”-28” | 61-71 cm
29.5”-35.4” | 75-90 cm (Wingspan)
29.5”-35.4” | 75-90 cm
3.3-6.6 lb | 1.5-3 kg
20-30 years
Red-Legged Seriema
71.000
90.000
90.000
3.000
30.00
2500
3D
Red-Legged Seriema
10”-16.1” | 25.5-41 cm
35.4”-44.9” | 90-114 cm (Wingspan)
15”-24” | 38-61 cm
1.2-1.7 lb | .55-.77 kg
20-25 years
Red-Shouldered Hawk
41.000
114.000
61.000
0.770
25.00
31070
3D
Red-Shouldered Hawk
11.2”-15.9” | 28.5-40.5 cm
43.3”-55.5” | 110-141 cm (Wingspan)
17.7”-25.6” | 45-65 cm
1.5-4.4 lb | .69-2 kg
20-31 years
Red-Tailed Hawk
40.500
141.000
65.000
2.000
31.00
102500
3D
Red-Tailed Hawk
29.5”-35” | 75-89 cm
74.8”-84.6” | 190-215 cm (Wingspan)
43.3”-51.2” | 110-130 cm
5.1-9.9 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg
10-19 years
Secretary Bird
89.000
215.000
130.000
4.500
19.00
89500
3D
Secretary Bird
8.7”-10.4” | 22-26.5 cm
39.4”-47.2” | 100-120 cm (Wingspan)
14.2”-16.9” | 36-43 cm
.66-1.26 lb | .3-.57 kg
9-14 years
Snail Kite
26.500
120.000
43.000
0.570
14.00
2450
3D
Snail Kite
Snowy Owl
108800
12.4”-16.9” | 31.5-43 cm
51.2”-65.4” | 130-166 cm (Wingspan)
20.5”-28” | 52-71 cm
2.9-6.5 lb | 1.3-2.95 kg
10-28 years
Snowy Owl
43.000
166.000
71.000
2.950
28.00
108800
3D
Snowy Owl
9.6”-12” | 24.5-30.5 cm
31.9”-40.9” | 81-104 cm (Wingspan)
14.6”-18.1” | 37-46 cm
.73-1.6 lb | .33-.72 kg
10-27 years
Tawny Owl
30.500
104.000
46.000
0.720
27.00
43500
3D
Tawny Owl
Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)
Comparison drawing of the Eastern Screech Owl compared to other birds of prey

The Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) is an owl that occupies wooded environments in Eastern North America from Mexico to Canada. They have a stocky build, short tail, and broad wings. The plumage is rusty or dark gray and intricately patterned with streaking on the underparts. Other traits include a large, round head, prominent ear tufts, yellow eyes, a yellow beak, and large and powerful feet. During breeding season they like to eat large insects like beetles, moths, crickets, grasshoppers, and cicadas. They will also eat small mammals like shrews, young rabbits, and mice.

The Eastern Screech Owl has a wingspan in the range of 18.1”-24” (46-61 cm) and total weight of .26-.55 lb (.12-.25 kg). The body of the Eastern Screech Owl has an overall length between 6.3”-9.8” (16-25 cm), body width of 2.2”-3.3” (5.5-8.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 4.1”-6.7” (10.5-17 cm). The typical lifespan of the Eastern Screech Owl is between 14-21 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Eastern Screech Owl
The Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) is an owl that occupies wooded environments in Eastern North America from Mexico to Canada. They have a stocky build, short tail, and broad wings. The plumage is rusty or dark gray and intricately patterned with streaking on the underparts.

The Eastern Screech Owl has a wingspan in the range of 18.1”-24” (46-61 cm) and total weight of .26-.55 lb (.12-.25 kg). The body of the Eastern Screech Owl has an overall length between 6.3”-9.8” (16-25 cm), body width of 2.2”-3.3” (5.5-8.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 4.1”-6.7” (10.5-17 cm). The typical lifespan of the Eastern Screech Owl is between 14-21 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)
Height:
4.1”-6.7” | 10.5-17 cm
Width:
18.1”-24” | 46-61 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.26-.55 lb | .12-.25 kg
Area:

Body Width: 2.2”-3.3” | 5.5-8.5 cm

Scientific Name
Megascops asio
Lifespan
14-21 years

Drawings include:

Eastern Screech Owl side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Scale illustration of an average Red-Shouldered Hawk compared to other bird of prey species

The Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) lives in eastern North America, along the coast of California, and northern to northeastern-central Mexico. The name is in reference to their red ”shoulders” which are visible when the birds are perched. Other characteristics are their brown heads, red chests, and pale bellies. They have long yellow legs, heavily barred wings, and long tails marked with narrow white bars. With sharp vision, good hearing, and powerful talons, the Red-Shouldered Hawk will search for its prey while a treetop or when soaring over woodlands. They mostly eat small mammals like rodents.

The Red-Shouldered Hawk has a wingspan in the range of 35.4”-44.9” (90-114 cm) and total weight of 1.2-1.7 lb (.55-.77 kg). The body of the Red-Shouldered Hawk has an overall length between 15”-24” (38-61 cm), body width of 4.1”-6.5” (10.5-16.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 10”-16.1” (25.5-41 cm). The typical lifespan of the Red-Shouldered Hawk is between 20-25 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Red-Shouldered Hawk standing
The Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) lives in eastern North America, along the coast of California, and northern to northeastern-central Mexico. The name is in reference to their red ”shoulders” which are visible when the birds are perched.

The Red-Shouldered Hawk has a wingspan in the range of 35.4”-44.9” (90-114 cm) and total weight of 1.2-1.7 lb (.55-.77 kg). The body of the Red-Shouldered Hawk has an overall length between 15”-24” (38-61 cm), body width of 4.1”-6.5” (10.5-16.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 10”-16.1” (25.5-41 cm). The typical lifespan of the Red-Shouldered Hawk is between 20-25 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Red-Shouldered Hawk standing
Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Height:
10”-16.1” | 25.5-41 cm
Width:
35.4”-44.9” | 90-114 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
15”-24” | 38-61 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.2-1.7 lb | .55-.77 kg
Area:

Body Width: 4.1”-6.5” | 10.5-16.5 cm

Scientific Name
Buteo lineatus
Lifespan
20-25 years

Drawings include:

Red-Shouldered Hawk side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)
Scale illustration of an average Mississippi Kite compared to other bird of prey species

The Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) is a small bird of prey that breeds across the central and southern United States; in the winter, they migrate to southern subtropical South America. In the past their nesting habitats were forests and savannas, but recently they commonly nest in highly populated urban areas. Adults are primarily gray. Their tail feathers and outer wings are darker gray, and their heads and inner wings are lighter gray. Young Mississippi Kites have banded tails and streaked bodies. The species are economically important, as their diets include cicada, grasshoppers, and other crop-damaging insects. They also eat small vertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles.

The Mississippi Kite has a wingspan in the range of 29.5”-32.7” (75-83 cm) and total weight of .46-.86 lb (.21-.39 kg). The body of the Mississippi Kite has an overall length between 13.4”-14.6” (34-37 cm), body width of 4.3”-4.7” (11-12 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.3”-9.1” (21-23 cm). The typical lifespan of the Mississippi Kite is between 7-11 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Mississippi Kite standing
The Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) is a small bird of prey that breeds across the central and southern United States; in the winter, they migrate to southern subtropical South America. In the past their nesting habitats were forests and savannas, but recently they may nest in cities.

The Mississippi Kite has a wingspan in the range of 29.5”-32.7” (75-83 cm) and total weight of .46-.86 lb (.21-.39 kg). The body of the Mississippi Kite has an overall length between 13.4”-14.6” (34-37 cm), body width of 4.3”-4.7” (11-12 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.3”-9.1” (21-23 cm). The typical lifespan of the Mississippi Kite is between 7-11 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Mississippi Kite standing
Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)
Height:
8.3”-9.1” | 21-23 cm
Width:
29.5”-32.7” | 75-83 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
13.4”-14.6” | 34-37 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.46-.86 lb | .21-.39 kg
Area:

Body Width: 4.3”-4.7” | 11-12 cm

Scientific Name
Ictinia mississippiensis
Lifespan
7-11 years

Drawings include:

Mississippi Kite side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)
Scale illustration of an average Bearded Vulture compared to other bird of prey species

The Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) is considered an Old World vulture that lives and breeds on crags in high mountains in southern Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, India, and Tibet. Unlike most vultures, the Bearded Vulture does not have a bald head; its head is small with a powerful and thick neck. It has a long and slender shape, and may appear bulkier due to its hunched back. Other traits are its large and powerful feet, variably orange or rust colored head and dark grey or white plumage, cream-colored forehead, and black beard. As a scavenger, it mostly eats the remains of dead animals.

The Bearded Vulture has a wingspan in the range of 90.6”-112.2” (230-285 cm) and total weight of 8.2-15.7 lb (3.7-7.1 kg). The body of the Bearded Vulture has an overall length between 37”-49.2” (94-125 cm), body width of 9.8”-12.4” (25-31.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 19.3”-26.2” (49-66.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Bearded Vulture is between 21-45 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Bearded Vulture standing
The Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) is considered an Old World vulture that lives and breeds on crags in high mountains in southern Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, India, and Tibet. Unlike most vultures, the Bearded Vulture does not have a bald head; its head is small with a powerfully thick neck.

The Bearded Vulture has a wingspan in the range of 90.6”-112.2” (230-285 cm) and total weight of 8.2-15.7 lb (3.7-7.1 kg). The body of the Bearded Vulture has an overall length between 37”-49.2” (94-125 cm), body width of 9.8”-12.4” (25-31.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 19.3”-26.2” (49-66.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Bearded Vulture is between 21-45 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Bearded Vulture standing
Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)
Height:
19.3”-26.2” | 49-66.5 cm
Width:
90.6”-112.2” | 230-285 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
37”-49.2” | 94-125 cm
Depth:
Weight:
8.2-15.7 lb | 3.7-7.1 kg
Area:

Body Width: 9.8”-12.4” | 25-31.5 cm

Scientific Name
Gypaetus barbatus
Lifespan
21-45 years

Drawings include:

Bearded Vulture side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Scale illustration of an average Northern Crested Caracara compared to other bird of prey species

The Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) is a scavenger that lives in the lowlands of Cuba, northern South America, and most of Central America and Mexico. As a carnivorous scavenger they mostly eat carrion and sometimes fruit. They catch immobile, injured, or incapacitated prey, and prey species include small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, crab, and insects. They have broad wings, long tails, and long legs that help them walk and run on the ground. The adult’s body, wings, crest, and crown are black, and the neck and rump are white. The bill is thick, gray, and hooked, and the legs are yellow.

The Northern Crested Caracara has a wingspan in the range of 42.1”-47.2” (107-120 cm) and total weight of 2-3.5 lb (.9-1.6 kg). The body of the Northern Crested Caracara has an overall length between 19.3”-22.8” (49-58 cm), body width of 5.7”-6.9” (14.5-17.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 16.9”-20.1” (43-51 cm). The typical lifespan of the Northern Crested Caracara is between 18-30 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Northern Crested Caracara standing
The Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) is a scavenger that lives in the lowlands of Cuba, northern South America, and most of Central America and Mexico. As a carnivorous scavenger they mostly eat carrion and sometimes fruit. They often catch immobile, injured, or incapacitated prey.

The Northern Crested Caracara has a wingspan in the range of 42.1”-47.2” (107-120 cm) and total weight of 2-3.5 lb (.9-1.6 kg). The body of the Northern Crested Caracara has an overall length between 19.3”-22.8” (49-58 cm), body width of 5.7”-6.9” (14.5-17.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 16.9”-20.1” (43-51 cm). The typical lifespan of the Northern Crested Caracara is between 18-30 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Northern Crested Caracara standing
Northern Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Height:
16.9”-20.1” | 43-51 cm
Width:
42.1”-47.2” | 107-120 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
19.3”-22.8” | 49-58 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2-3.5 lb | .9-1.6 kg
Area:

Body Width: 5.7”-6.9” | 14.5-17.5 cm

Scientific Name
Caracara cheriway
Lifespan
18-30 years

Drawings include:

Northern Crested Caracara side view, front, flying (assorted)

Details & Downloads

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