British Birds Of Prey
Birds of prey, otherwise known as raptors, by definition catch their food using their feet instead of their mouths like most other birds. They also have acute vision and hearing and powerful talons and beaks.
Birds of prey can be divided into a number of families including buzzards and hawks, falcons, vultures, kites, harriers, eagles, owls and osprey, and in the UK you can find examples from all of these groups except for vultures.
Most birds of prey are diurnal meaning they hunt during the day although some owls are nocturnal and hunt solely after dark. British birds of prey tend to feed on small mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, birds and molluscs while Old and New world vultures prefer to eat carrion.
Sparrowhaks will sometimes visit gardens, and peregrine falcons can be spotted in towns and cities, whereas it is more difficult to see owls who rarely conduct their activities during the day. Birds of prey can be difficult to tell apart, particularly when you can only catch a fleeting glimpse of them or see a distant silhouette in the sky.
British Birds Of Prey Identification Guides
Find out more about some of the most common British birds of prey including identifying features, nesting and feeding habits and take a listen to their calls: