Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey Photographed in Forest, Garden and Water Habitat

Birds of prey from seven families are placed in four orders, see taxonomic note below.

The gallery features species from all orders and five of the seven families. They are cosmopolitan birds that occupy a variety of land habitats in all regions of the world including the Arctic but not the Antarctic. Most birds of prey exhibit reverse size dimorphism where females are larger than males. Most images are lone individuals so identification on size is difficult.

A second gallery displays five phases of white-bellied sea-eagle plumage that occur in the first four to five years of life.

Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey Notes

Images of most showcased species are currently ‘Red List’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’ exceptions are grey-headed fish-eagle and red kite that are listed as ‘Near Threatened’.

I’ve photographed the displayed species in Australia, England, Singapore, Trinidad and New Zealand. Habitats included gardens, forest, woodland, often near fresh or salt water. Some species were breeding residents while others were migratory or seasonal visitors.

Plumage of Juvenile, Immature and Adult White-bellied Sea-eagles

White-bellied Sea-eagle Plumage Notes

Images showing phases in plumage from juvenile through first and second year immatures to young-adult and adult which takes around four to five years. Adults breed around six years and they probably have around a 30 years life span.

Taxonomic Note

My birds of prey grouping include falcons and caracaras (Falconidae) family placed in order Falconiformes; hawks, eagles (Accipitridae) and osprey (Pandionidae) families placed in order Accipitriformes; typical owls (Strigidae) family placed in order Strigiformes and New World vultures (Cathartidae) family placed in order Cathartiformes.

Some authorities do not classify typical owls from Strigiformes order and New World vultures from Cathartiformes order as birds of prey (raptors). Owls hunt at night in a similar way to Falconiformes and Accipitriformes orders by grabbing and carrying away their prey from land or water and some raptors will take advantage of carrion, New World vultures’ main diet. As such my birds of prey grouping include both owls and vultures.