Birds of Prey | Raptors

Birds of prey, or raptors, are a species of bird that hunt and feed on relatively large vertebrates. While some other birds hunt live animals, birds of prey are distinguished by their keen eyesight, sharp talons, and curved beaks. Even though birds of prey typically hunt living animals, they will also feed on already dead animals as well, with condors and vultures feeding off carrion primarily. There are 6 different groups of birds of prey, with 446 different species worldwide. Birds of prey can vary in size from the small Falconet at roughly 6 inches (15 cm) in length, to the large Andean Condor with a wingspan of 10 feet (3 meters).

How do you attract birds of prey?

Birds of prey are attracted by a habitat that allows them to prey. Birds of prey need live prey, water, and nesting spaces. The habitat can be created by letting grass grow in a field which will allow for rodents in open areas. It is essential to keep an area natural and inviting to attract birds of prey.

What do birds of prey eat?

Birds of prey have a carnivorous diet, but their diet varies based on their species. Typically, the larger the bird of prey the larger their potential target will be, but many may choose smaller meals when small prey is abundant. The most common prey includes large insects, fish, small mammals, small birds, large birds, medium mammals, carrion, reptiles, and amphibians.

Where do birds of prey live?

Birds of prey are able to live on every continent and all habitats of the world. They are found in dense jungles, deserts, seacoasts, plains, as well as tall mountains. Birds of prey are also able to live in woodland, farmland, and even cities.

Birds of Prey Guides
Browse through our curated Birds of Prey Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Birds of Prey. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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5.7”-8.1” | 14.5-20.5 cm
19.7”-24” | 50-61 cm (Wingspan)
8.7”-12.2” | 22-31 cm
.18-.36 lb | .08-.165 kg
5-11 years
American Kestrel
20.500
61.000
31.000
0.165
11.00
25500
3D
American Kestrel
25.4”-33.7” | 64.5-85.5 cm
106.3”-130” | 270-330 cm (Wingspan)
39.4”-52” | 100-132 cm
17-33.1 lb | 7.7-15 kg
50-75 years
Andean Condor
85.500
330.000
132.000
15.000
75.00
45450
3D
Andean Condor
16.9”-24.2” | 43-61.5 cm
70”-90” | 178-229 cm (Wingspan)
27.6”-39.4” | 70-100 cm
6.5-14 lb | 2.95-6.35 kg
20-30 years
Bald Eagle
61.500
229.000
100.000
6.350
30.00
272400
3D
Bald Eagle
Barn Owl
201000
12.2”-15.2” | 31-38.5 cm
31.5”-43.3” | 80-110 cm (Wingspan)
12.6”-15.75” | 32-40 cm
.55-1.26 lb | .25-.57 kg
4-15 years
Barn Owl
38.500
110.000
40.000
0.570
15.00
201000
3D
Barn Owl
19.3”-26.2” | 49-66.5 cm
90.6”-112.2” | 230-285 cm (Wingspan)
37”-49.2” | 94-125 cm
8.2-15.7 lb | 3.7-7.1 kg
21-45 years
Bearded Vulture
66.500
285.000
125.000
7.100
45.00
31900
3D
Bearded Vulture
5.3”-8.9” | 13.5-22.5 cm
20”-24” | 51-61 cm (Wingspan)
6.7”-11” | 17-28 cm
.29-.57 lb | .13-.26 kg
6-11 years
Burrowing Owl
22.500
61.000
28.000
0.260
11.00
34200
3D
Burrowing Owl
30.3”-37.4” | 77-95 cm
106.3”-126” | 270-320 cm (Wingspan)
42.9”-52.8” | 109-134 cm
18.7-26.5 lb | 8.5-12 kg
30-60 years
California Condor
95.000
320.000
134.000
12.000
60.00
53200
3D
California Condor
11.6”-16.7” | 29.5-42.5 cm
43.3”-51.2” | 110-130 cm (Wingspan)
17.7”-25.6” | 45-65 cm
1.2-2.9 lb | .55-1.3 kg
20-29 years
Common Buzzard
42.500
130.000
65.000
1.300
29.00
21900
3D
Common Buzzard
8.1”-9.4” | 20.5-24 cm
26.8”-31.5” | 68-80 cm (Wingspan)
13”-15.4” | 33-39 cm
.31-.68 lb | .14-.31 kg
15-18 years
Common Kestrel
24.000
80.000
39.000
0.310
18.00
33500
3D
Common Kestrel
4.1”-6.7” | 10.5-17 cm
18.1”-24” | 46-61 cm (Wingspan)
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm
.26-.55 lb | .12-.25 kg
14-21 years
Eastern Screech Owl
17.000
61.000
25.000
0.250
21.00
18100
3D
Eastern Screech Owl
14.2”-19.5” | 36-49.5 cm
52”-59.8” | 132-152 cm (Wingspan)
19.7”-27.2” | 50-69 cm
2.2-4.6 lb | .98-2.08 kg
16-24 years
Ferruginous Hawk
49.500
152.000
69.000
2.080
24.00
10200
3D
Ferruginous Hawk
19.7”-23.6” | 50-60 cm
72.8”-88.6” | 185-225 cm (Wingspan)
29.5”-35.4” | 75-90 cm
6.2-14.8 lb | 2.8-6.7 kg
30-48 years
Golden Eagle
60.000
225.000
90.000
6.700
48.00
235500
3D
Golden Eagle
9.6”-14.2” | 24.5-36 cm
35.8”-59.8” | 91-152 cm (Wingspan)
16.9”-25.2” | 43-64 cm
2-5.5 lb | .9-2.5 kg
13-35 years
Great Horned Owl
36.000
152.000
64.000
2.500
35.00
106000
3D
Great Horned Owl
25.8”-33.1” | 65.5-84 cm
90.6”-110.2” | 230-280 cm (Wingspan)
37.4”-48” | 95-122 cm
13.2-33.1 lb | 6-15 kg
35-42 years
Griffon Vulture
84.000
280.000
122.000
15.000
42.00
20700
3D
Griffon Vulture
14.6”-19.3” | 37-49 cm
43.3”-63” | 110-160 cm (Wingspan)
18.9”-25.6” | 48-65 cm
1.8-4.6 lb | .8-2.1 kg
12-25 years
Gyrfalcon
49.000
160.000
65.000
2.100
25.00
17700
3D
Gyrfalcon
21.7”-26.6” | 55-67.5 cm
69.3”-88.2” | 176-224 cm (Wingspan)
34.3”-42.9” | 87-109 cm
8.8-19.8 lb | 4-9 kg
25-35 years
Harpy Eagle
67.500
224.000
109.000
9.000
35.00
293500
3D
Harpy Eagle
11.8”-15.2” | 30-38.5 cm
38.2”-48” | 97-122 cm (Wingspan)
16.1”-20.5” | 41-52 cm
.64-1.39 lb | .29-.63 kg
8-17 years
Hen Harrier
38.500
122.000
52.000
0.630
17.00
13900
3D
Hen Harrier
8.3”-9.1” | 21-23 cm
29.5”-32.7” | 75-83 cm (Wingspan)
13.4”-14.6” | 34-37 cm
.46-.86 lb | .21-.39 kg
7-11 years
Mississippi Kite
23.000
83.000
37.000
0.390
11.00
9450
3D
Mississippi Kite
16.9”-20.1” | 43-51 cm
42.1”-47.2” | 107-120 cm (Wingspan)
19.3”-22.8” | 49-58 cm
2-3.5 lb | .9-1.6 kg
18-30 years
Northern Crested Caracara
51.000
120.000
58.000
1.600
30.00
2700
3D
Northern Crested Caracara
9.8”-12.8” | 25-32.5 cm
38.2”-48” | 97-122 cm (Wingspan)
16.1”-20.5” | 41-52 cm
.64-1.65 lb | .29-.75 kg
8-17 years
Northern Harrier
32.500
122.000
52.000
0.750
17.00
15060
3D
Northern Harrier
Osprey
444000
11.4”-16.3” | 29-41.5 cm
50”-70.9” | 127-180 cm (Wingspan)
16.9”-24” | 43-61 cm
2.4-4.4 lb | 1.1-2 kg
25-32 years
Osprey
41.500
180.000
61.000
2.000
32.00
444000
3D
Osprey
8.1”-13” | 20.5-33 cm
29.1”-47.2” | 74-120 cm (Wingspan)
14.2”-22.8” | 36-58 cm
.73-3.3 lb | .33-1.5 kg
15-25 years
Peregrine Falcon
33.000
120.000
58.000
1.500
25.00
205000
3D
Peregrine Falcon
8.3”-10.6” | 21-27 cm
35.4”-44.5” | 90-113 cm (Wingspan)
15”-19.7” | 38-50 cm
1.1-2.1 lb | .5-.95 kg
15-20 years
Prairie Falcon
27.000
113.000
50.000
0.950
20.00
5970
3D
Prairie Falcon
24”-28” | 61-71 cm
29.5”-35.4” | 75-90 cm (Wingspan)
29.5”-35.4” | 75-90 cm
3.3-6.6 lb | 1.5-3 kg
20-30 years
Red-Legged Seriema
71.000
90.000
90.000
3.000
30.00
2500
3D
Red-Legged Seriema
10”-16.1” | 25.5-41 cm
35.4”-44.9” | 90-114 cm (Wingspan)
15”-24” | 38-61 cm
1.2-1.7 lb | .55-.77 kg
20-25 years
Red-Shouldered Hawk
41.000
114.000
61.000
0.770
25.00
31070
3D
Red-Shouldered Hawk
11.2”-15.9” | 28.5-40.5 cm
43.3”-55.5” | 110-141 cm (Wingspan)
17.7”-25.6” | 45-65 cm
1.5-4.4 lb | .69-2 kg
20-31 years
Red-Tailed Hawk
40.500
141.000
65.000
2.000
31.00
102500
3D
Red-Tailed Hawk
29.5”-35” | 75-89 cm
74.8”-84.6” | 190-215 cm (Wingspan)
43.3”-51.2” | 110-130 cm
5.1-9.9 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg
10-19 years
Secretary Bird
89.000
215.000
130.000
4.500
19.00
89500
3D
Secretary Bird
8.7”-10.4” | 22-26.5 cm
39.4”-47.2” | 100-120 cm (Wingspan)
14.2”-16.9” | 36-43 cm
.66-1.26 lb | .3-.57 kg
9-14 years
Snail Kite
26.500
120.000
43.000
0.570
14.00
2450
3D
Snail Kite
Snowy Owl
108800
12.4”-16.9” | 31.5-43 cm
51.2”-65.4” | 130-166 cm (Wingspan)
20.5”-28” | 52-71 cm
2.9-6.5 lb | 1.3-2.95 kg
10-28 years
Snowy Owl
43.000
166.000
71.000
2.950
28.00
108800
3D
Snowy Owl
9.6”-12” | 24.5-30.5 cm
31.9”-40.9” | 81-104 cm (Wingspan)
14.6”-18.1” | 37-46 cm
.73-1.6 lb | .33-.72 kg
10-27 years
Tawny Owl
30.500
104.000
46.000
0.720
27.00
43500
3D
Tawny Owl
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Comparison drawing of the Common Buzzard compared to other birds of prey

The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a bird of prey that lives in the woodlands and open grounds of Europe and across the Palearctic. As a medium-sized raptor they have a compact overall appearance. They have a distinct, round head, a slender bill, long wings, a short tail, and a bare tarsi. Their plumage is highly variable, and in Europe they are typically dark brown, but can become paler and warmer brown with worn plumage. As opportunistic predators they have a wide variety of prey, but they mostly eat small mammals like rodents and voles.

The Common Buzzard has a wingspan in the range of 43.3”-51.2” (110-130 cm) and total weight of 1.2-2.9 lb (.55-1.3 kg). The body of the Common Buzzard has an overall length between 17.7”-25.6” (45-65 cm), body width of 5.3”-7.7” (13.5-19.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 11.6”-16.7” (29.5-42.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Common Buzzard is between 20-29 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Common Buzzard
The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a bird of prey that lives in the woodlands and open grounds of Europe and across the Palearctic. As a medium-sized raptor they have a compact overall appearance. They have a distinct, round head, a slender bill, long wings, a short tail, and a bare tarsi.

The Common Buzzard has a wingspan in the range of 43.3”-51.2” (110-130 cm) and total weight of 1.2-2.9 lb (.55-1.3 kg). The body of the Common Buzzard has an overall length between 17.7”-25.6” (45-65 cm), body width of 5.3”-7.7” (13.5-19.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 11.6”-16.7” (29.5-42.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Common Buzzard is between 20-29 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Common Buzzard
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Height:
11.6”-16.7” | 29.5-42.5 cm
Width:
43.3”-51.2” | 110-130 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
17.7”-25.6” | 45-65 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.2-2.9 lb | .55-1.3 kg
Area:

Body Width: 5.3”-7.7” | 13.5-19.5 cm

Scientific Name
Buteo buteo
Lifespan
20-29 years

Drawings include:

Common Buzzard side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Scale illustration of an average Common Kestrel compared to other bird of prey species

The Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a wide spread falcon species that lives in Europe, Asia, Africa, and occasionally the east coast of North America. They prefer lowlands and open habitats like fields, heaths, and marshland. Physically, they have a light chestnut brown plumage with blackish spots on the upper side and buff and narrow blackish streaks on the underside. Their eyes are bright yellow, and the toenails, bill, and iris are dark. Most of their diet is comprised of mouse-sized mammals like voles, shrews and mice. Common Kestrels on oceanic islands may eat small birds.

The Common Kestrel has a wingspan in the range of 26.8”-31.5” (68-80 cm) and total weight of .31-.68 lb (.14-.31 kg). The body of the Common Kestrel has an overall length between 13”-15.4” (33-39 cm), body width of 3.5”-4.1” (9-10.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.1”-9.4” (20.5-24 cm). The typical lifespan of the Common Kestrel is between 15-18 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Common Kestrel standing
The Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a wide spread falcon species that lives in Europe, Asia, Africa, and occasionally the east coast of North America. They prefer lowlands and open habitats like fields, heaths, and marshland. Physically, they have a light chestnut brown plumage.

The Common Kestrel has a wingspan in the range of 26.8”-31.5” (68-80 cm) and total weight of .31-.68 lb (.14-.31 kg). The body of the Common Kestrel has an overall length between 13”-15.4” (33-39 cm), body width of 3.5”-4.1” (9-10.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 8.1”-9.4” (20.5-24 cm). The typical lifespan of the Common Kestrel is between 15-18 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Common Kestrel standing
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Height:
8.1”-9.4” | 20.5-24 cm
Width:
26.8”-31.5” | 68-80 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
13”-15.4” | 33-39 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.31-.68 lb | .14-.31 kg
Area:

Body Width: 3.5”-4.1” | 9-10.5 cm

Scientific Name
Falco tinnunculus
Lifespan
15-18 years

Drawings include:

Common Kestrel side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
Scale illustration of an average Burrowing Owl compared to other bird of prey species

The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) is an owl found in the grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, or any other open dry area with low vegetation across North and South America. Their name references their nesting and roosting habitat, burrows. They have adapted to living in grasslands by developing longer legs that allow them to sprint and fly white hunting. Physically, the Burrowing Owl has bright eyes, a dark yellow or gray beak, and a flattened facial disc. They have prominent white eyebrows and a white ”chin” patch; adults have a brown head and wings, and the chest and abdomen are white.

The Burrowing Owl has a wingspan in the range of 20”-24” (51-61 cm) and total weight of .29-.57 lb (.13-.26 kg). The body of the Burrowing Owl has an overall length between 6.7”-11” (17-28 cm), body width of 2.2”-3.5” (5.5-9 cm), and standing height of roughly 5.3”-8.9” (13.5-22.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Burrowing Owl is between 6-11 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Burrowing Owl standing
The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) is an owl found in the grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, or any other open dry area with low vegetation across North and South America. Their name references their nesting and roosting habitat, burrows. They have adapted to living in grasslands.

The Burrowing Owl has a wingspan in the range of 20”-24” (51-61 cm) and total weight of .29-.57 lb (.13-.26 kg). The body of the Burrowing Owl has an overall length between 6.7”-11” (17-28 cm), body width of 2.2”-3.5” (5.5-9 cm), and standing height of roughly 5.3”-8.9” (13.5-22.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Burrowing Owl is between 6-11 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Burrowing Owl standing
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
Height:
5.3”-8.9” | 13.5-22.5 cm
Width:
20”-24” | 51-61 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
6.7”-11” | 17-28 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.29-.57 lb | .13-.26 kg
Area:

Body Width: 2.2”-3.5” | 5.5-9 cm

Scientific Name
Athene cunicularia
Lifespan
6-11 years

Drawings include:

Burrowing Owl side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)
Scale illustration of an average Harpy Eagle compared to other bird of prey species

The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is a powerful eagle found in the neotropical region. The species occupies tropical lowland rainforests in the upper canopy level. Physically the Harpy Eagle has slate-black feathers and a white underside with the exception of the striped-black feathered tarsi. The head is pale gray, and a broad black band across the upper breast separates the head from the belly. The tail’s upper side is black with three gray bands, and the underside is black with three white bands. As the species is at the top of the food chain, they are rarely preyed on, and their diet is mostly tree-dwelling mammals like sloths and monkeys.

The Harpy Eagle has a wingspan in the range of 69.3”-88.2” (176-224 cm) and total weight of 8.8-19.8 lb (4-9 kg). The body of the Harpy Eagle has an overall length between 34.3”-42.9” (87-109 cm), body width of 9.1”-11.8” (23-30 cm), and standing height of roughly 21.7”-26.6” (55-67.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Harpy Eagle is between 25-35 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Harpy Eagle standing
The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is a powerful eagle found in the neotropical region. The species occupies tropical lowland rainforests in the upper canopy level. Physically the Harpy Eagle has slate-black feathers and a white underside with the exception of the striped-black feathered tarsi.

The Harpy Eagle has a wingspan in the range of 69.3”-88.2” (176-224 cm) and total weight of 8.8-19.8 lb (4-9 kg). The body of the Harpy Eagle has an overall length between 34.3”-42.9” (87-109 cm), body width of 9.1”-11.8” (23-30 cm), and standing height of roughly 21.7”-26.6” (55-67.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Harpy Eagle is between 25-35 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Harpy Eagle standing
Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)
Height:
21.7”-26.6” | 55-67.5 cm
Width:
69.3”-88.2” | 176-224 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
34.3”-42.9” | 87-109 cm
Depth:
Weight:
8.8-19.8 lb | 4-9 kg
Area:

Body Width: 9.1”-11.8” | 23-30 cm

Scientific Name
Harpia harpyja
Lifespan
25-35 years

Drawings include:

Harpy Eagle side view, front, flying (assorted)

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Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Barn Owl to other species of birds of prey

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed owl species in the world; there are at least three major lineages of Barn Owl- Europe, western Asia and Africa, southeastern Asia and Australasia, and the Americas. The plumage on the head is gray or brown, and the underparts vary from white to brown; sometimes it is speckled with dark markings. The face is heart-shaped and white. As nocturnal bird, the species hunts animals on the ground. Their diet is mostly small mammals which are located by sound.

The Barn Owl has a wingspan in the range of 31.5”-43.3” (80-110 cm) and total weight of .55-1.26 lb (.25-.57 kg). The body of the Barn Owl has an overall length between 12.6”-15.75” (32-40 cm), body width of 4.3”-5.3” (11-13.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 12.2”-15.2” (31-38.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Barn Owl is between 4-15 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Barn Owl in various standing poses with dimensions
The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed owl species in the world; there are at least three major lineages of Barn Owl- Europe, western Asia and Africa, southeastern Asia and Australasia, and the Americas. The plumage on the head is gray or brown, and the underparts vary.

The Barn Owl has a wingspan in the range of 31.5”-43.3” (80-110 cm) and total weight of .55-1.26 lb (.25-.57 kg). The body of the Barn Owl has an overall length between 12.6”-15.75” (32-40 cm), body width of 4.3”-5.3” (11-13.5 cm), and standing height of roughly 12.2”-15.2” (31-38.5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Barn Owl is between 4-15 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Barn Owl in various standing poses with dimensions
Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
Height:
12.2”-15.2” | 31-38.5 cm
Width:
31.5”-43.3” | 80-110 cm (Wingspan)
Length:
12.6”-15.75” | 32-40 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.55-1.26 lb | .25-.57 kg
Area:

Body Width: 4.3”-5.3” | 11-13.5 cm

Scientific Name
Tyto alba
Lifespan
4-15 years

Drawings include:

Barn Owl side view, front, flying (assorted)

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