Learnings: 01/03/21 — Raptors

Continuing with my effort on staying curious and investigative, today I learned about Raptors.

I live a place where you can see a particular type of raptor a lot. Talking with locals I know that this magnificent bird is called — “Red Tail Hawk”. Its very easy to see them if you go to near bu trails. They look like this, they are beautiful and intimidating.

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On our year end hike on 31st December, my wife spotted this hawk on trail. My daughter was with me. We were so happy to see him, we decided (I proposed it) that 2021 will be “year of eagles”.

But somewhere in my mind this question came to me, is this an eagle or hawk? You see I ignorantly mixed a hawk with an eagle.

So I investigated it today. And here are my learnings.

Hawks, Eagle, Falcons, Kite and Osprey are all called raptor. There are many more types, but these are the names I am familiar with. This is not a professional guide for identifying these birds, these are my notes. And they are first version of my introduction to these birds. I will keep on updating/correcting this post.

The one which we saw on our hike and neighborhood is a type of Hawk. Most intelligent one. But lets go by size.

Eagles

Most majestic of all. Also most rare to see. Very Big and strong. You cant miss their strong legs.

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They are big. Here is a bald eagle next to an adult.

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And here is a golden Eagle

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Osprey

As I understand osprey are next in size. And they hunt fish. Their legs are LONG and you will find them near water.

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Kites

These are the ones which I used to see in my child hood. They fly very high and keep on circling high above. They have some speciality in wings, which makes them very good in flying very high in a small circle.

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They are scavenger and can eat dead animal, so sensitive to illegal poisoning.

some of them make a V shape in their tail.

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Falcon

They are smaller ones.They fly fast and hunt by dives. There wings are tapered/pointed. They are the fastest bird. Can go 60 mph and dive up to 200 mph. Hunt by beak. They can hunt mid air. So can do mid air hunt of other flying birds.

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Hawk

They may be bigger than falcon but can be easily confused for one another. I still need to understand how to distinguish one another. Some say they dont dive, but do sudden dashes. Hunt using there claws , called “talons”. they look for mice.

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