Raptors are carnivorous birds that are physically and behaviourally adapted to hunt their particular prey which ranges from fish, to lizards and snakes, to small mammals and birds. The adaptations this group of birds use include hooked bills, excellent binocular vision, strong muscles, and sharp talons, all of which make killing their prey easier.
Thanks to all the photographers that submitted photos of raptors, your pictures can create awareness about the diversity of this group. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of raptors.
Cooper’s hawks are native to the North American continent, they are found in deciduous forests and woodlands and they hunt their prey from cover flying through vegetation to capture prey by surprise (Lynne Stowe)
Carunculated caracaras are found in the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia, they are opportunistic feeders and will feed on carrion and small animals (Dot Rambin)
Long-legged Buzzard photographed in Mogan Lake, Ankara, Turkey (Halit Uzun)
Peregrine falcon parent and juvenile, these birds are the fastest in the animal kingdom due to their high-speed dive used when hunting prey (Leslie Reagan)
Western marsh harriers are found in temperate and subtropical western Eurasia, and Africa, they use wetland areas and feed on small mammals, small birds, reptiles and insects (Indranil Bhattacharjee)
Brahminy kite taking off in Mangalajodi, Orissa, India (Binit Chatterjee)
Brown fish owls are found in subtropical and humid tropical parts of continental Asia, they are nocturnal and will hunt from a perch, or by wading through shallow water (Amit Kumar Srivastava)
Black-winged kites are found in open land and semi-deserts in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia and they feed on insects, lizards and rodents (Jasvir Faridkot)
Collared falconets are small falcons with powerful feet found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia (Kapish S Rai)
Bald eagles are found in North American wetland habitats, they use thermal convection currents to fly and are opportunistic feeders with most of their diet consisting of fish (J Bernardo Sanchez)
Burrowing owl photographed on Marco Island, Florida, USA (Kubilay Bekirogullari)
The spotted harrier is native to Australia and Indonesia, they are found in open woodland, open grassland and shrubland, and they feed on terrestrial mammals, small birds, and reptiles (Karen Hunt)
White-eyed buzzards are found in South Asia in dry, open forests and they have a distinctive white iris (Raghavendra Joshi)
Turkey vultures range from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America and their common name originates from their resemblance to the male wild turkey with its red head and dark plumage (Dr SS Suresh)
Steppe eagles breed from Romania east through the south Russian and Central Asian steppes, they are listed as endangered due to population declines as a result of habitat conversion and impacts with power lines and wind energy developments (Sandipan Ghosh)
Brahminy kites flying over trees in Langkawi, Malaysia (Siddhartha Mukherjee)
Greater spotted eagle with northern shoveler catch, this bird of prey breeds from northern Europe across Eurasia and they are listed as vulnerable due to habitat degradation and loss (Nishant Rana)
Crested hawk-eagle photographed in Konkan, Maharashtra, India (Shivayogi Kanthi)
Red-shouldered hawks breed from eastern North America, along the coast of California, and northern to northeastern-central Mexico, they have good hearing and excellent vision for hunting, photographed in Elizabeth lake, california, usa (Henser Villela)
Shikra flying low in Faridkot, Punjab, India (Gagan Bedi)
White-rumped vultures are native to South and Southeast Asia, they become active in the morning when the sun warms up the air and the thermals are able to support their weight. They are listed as critically endangered due to population decline from ingestion of cattle meat that had been treated with diclofenac (Dr. Sanjay Solanki)
Osprey with Caribbean blue tang photographed in Arashi beach, Aruba, the Caribbean (Michiel Oversteegen)
Pallid harriers breed in the southern parts of eastern Europe and central Asia, they are listed as near threatened due to degradation of steppe grassland (Ananth Ramasamy)
The Eurasian hobby is found in farmland, marshes and savannah habitats in Africa, Europe, and Asia and they use old nests of crows and other birds (Kumar Kumud Gangesh)
Mississippi kites breed across the central and southern United States and they feed mostly on insects caught in flight (Rhonda Lane)
Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.
We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!
Edited by Laurie Johnson, Campaign Manager