Birds of Prey

When you think of a predator, tigers, lions and bears come to mind. But birds are predators too. The barn owl has a face that reflects sound so well it can hear a mouse moving in the grass while soaring through the air. But the mouse can’t hear the owl, its feathers are specially arranged so that it makes almost no sound while flying.

You don’t need good ears to hunt though, the bald eagle has vision seven times more powerful than humans; it can fly as high as a thousand feet and still see its prey over a distance of three square miles. The bald eagle can have a wingspan of 7 feet, which is longer than some of the tallest people in the world. But the bald eagle doesn’t eat mice like the owl, the bald eagle is so strong that it can carry away and eat animals as large as baby deer.

Most birds are carnivores, but few are as deadly as eagles, hawks and owls. Birds have bodies that are designed to be extremely light, otherwise they could never fly. However, some birds of prey are so strong that they can carry something six times as heavy as them and still fly. Imagine wearing a backpack that weighed as much as you do, and then putting six more backpacks on. You might not be able to stand up, but if you were a great horned owl or a red-tailed hawk, it would be easy just to fly away.