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British Birds of Prey

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BRITISH BIRDS OF PREY Introduction: Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males. The term “raptor” is derived from the Latin word “rapere” (meaning to seize or take by force) and may refer informally to all birds of prey, or specifically to the diurnal group.

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Because of their overall large size and predatory lifestyle, they face distinct conservation concerns. Raptor conservation: Over the centuries, birds of prey have had their ups and downs. They have been – and to a degree still are – persecuted by gamekeepers and those with shooting interests, and in the 1960s were poisoned by agricultural pesticides, notably DDT. So it is good to learn that there are some success stories, too.

Under its own steam, the Buzzard has spread eastwards in recent decades and is now our commonest raptor.

Two other species – the White-tailed Eagle and Red Kite – have had some help from conservationists and are now also doing rather well. Formal classification: Carl Linnaeus (23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. Binomial nomenclature is the formal system of naming species. The essence of this system of naming is this: each species name is formed out of Latin, and has two parts, the genus name (i. . the ‘generic’ name) and the species name (i. e. the ‘specific’ name), for example, Homo sapiens, the name of the human species. In traditional Linnaean taxonomy, the seven major taxonomic groupings are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species The 16 species of British Birds of Prey can be broken down as thus: Kingdom: Animal (Animalia) Phylum: Chordate (Chordata) Class: Bird (Aves) Order: Accipitriformes and Falconiformes (Diurnal birds of prey) Family: Accipitridae (11), Falconidae (4) and Pandionidae (1) Genus: Pernis – Honey buzzards – large broad-winged birds of prey feeding chiefly on bees and wasps and their nests. (1 British species) * 1) * Milvus – Kites – long-winged birds of prey with a forked tail, which frequently soar on updraughts of air. (1 British species) * 1) * Haliaeetus – Sea Eagles – large fish-eating eagles that frequent coasts and wetlands. (1 British species) * 1) * Circus – Harriers – long-winged, slender-bodied birds of prey with low quartering flight. (3 British species) * 1)2)3) * Accipiter – Hawks – fast-flying birds of prey with broad rounded wings and a long tail. 2 British species) * 1)2) * Buteo – Buzzards – large hawklike birds of prey with broad wings and a rounded tail, typically seen soaring in wide circles. (2 British species) * 1)2) * Aquila – True Eagles – large birds of prey with a massive hooked bill and long broad wings, known for their keen sight and powerful soaring flight. (1 British species) * 1) * Pandion – Osprey – a large fish-eating bird of prey with long, narrow wings and a white underside and crown. (1 British species) * 1) * Falco – Falcons – fast-flying birds of prey with long pointed wings. 4 British species) * 1)2)3)4) 1. What is the most common British bird of prey? 2. Which species of British raptor has a family all to itself? 3. What two species have been conservation successes in recent years? 4. Which raptor is most likely to be found raiding bee and wasp nests? 5. What British bird of prey is the fastest animal on the planet? 6. Which elusive raptor performs a dramatic ‘sky-dance’ display in early spring? 7. What two species are predominately fish-eaters? 8. Which agricultural pesticide was responsible for the decline of many raptors in the 1960s?

Cite this British Birds of Prey

British Birds of Prey. (2018, Jun 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/british-birds-of-prey-essay/

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