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  Illinois Birds of Prey   

What is a bird of prey?

What is a bird of prey?

Birds of prey are amazing animals. They have large eyes that face forward, powerful talons and hooked beaks that allow them to catch their "prey." Their food includes amphibians, birds, insects, mammals and reptiles. Scientists recognize seven groupings of birds as "birds of prey."

Buteos (large hawks) -- have wide-beating wings which allow them soar and search for prey. They perch on tree limbs, fence or telephone posts. This is the largest and most diverse group.

Accipters (tree hawks) -- have long tails (like a rudder) and short rounded wings. They have several quick wing beats and they glide. True hawks are highly aggressive and very quick.

Ospreys -- are the only species of bird in this group. They go completely under water to catch fish.

Falcons -- have long, thin, pointed wings and tails, short bills and streamlined bodies. They kill their prey upon impact.

Eagles -- have a bill almost as long as their head. They are larger than hawks and have longer wings.

Harriers -- have long, thin bodies with long wings and legs and rounded wings. Their wings are rounded and form a small "v' during flight. They fly low to the ground.

Owls -- have a flattened, circle-like face. Fringed outer wing feathers allow for silent flight. Their wings are rounded and tails are short. Owls are able to turn their heads around 270 degrees.


Find the following words in this puzzle:

Word puzzle
beak osprey falcon
harrier strong predator
raptor eyesight tear
clutch owl soar
nest talon eagle

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