Birds of prey have hooked beaks and claws, strong paws, sharp eyesight and hearing. They feed on small mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. Birds of prey of the Urals are found in different shapes and sizes:
Hawks and eagles fly high looking for prey. Sizes medium to large. The beak is bent to the bottom, rounded or wide wings, sharp claws.
Falcons. Small to medium size, tapered wings and tails. They are fast and agile, soar in the air.
owls. These birds range in size from small to large. They have rounded heads, small, hooked bills, forward-facing eyes, and are primarily nocturnal.
The bird flies over the water along the coastline of lakes and rivers, hangs, plunges into the water with its paws, catches fish with its claws. After the osprey with prey rises and flies away, carries the fish with its paws forward.
The bird is dark red-brown with a white crescent on the underside of the wings. Hunts alone or in small groups, flies low in search of food. In flight, maneuverable, bending wings and tail.
Common honey buzzard
It has long wide wings and a tail. Paws are strong. The eyes and nostrils are protected by short feathers, which makes it possible to adapt to the stings of wasps and bees, whose larvae form an important part of the diet.
Wetlands and wet areas of meadow steppes and forest-steppes a typical hunting environment. Preferred breeding sites near small rivers, lakes and swamps.
Predator breeds in moorlands, swamps, coastal farmland, swamps, meadows. Stick nests lined with grass and leaves on the inside, built on the ground or vegetation.
Predator with long wings and tail. Males are smaller than females, bluish-gray with grayish-white rump. The tips of the wings are black, on the top of the wing there is a dark stripe, below two.
Birds have long, narrow, rounded tails, small beaks, and long, thin legs. Fluff covers the large openings of the ears, a device for searching for prey by rustling and creaking in tall grasses.
Goshawk (Lesser hawk)
Wide wings for hunting at speed between trees, paws grab prey in flight. The hawk is seen all year round, but is best observed in late winter and spring when it flies high above the trees.
Sparrowhawk (Greater Hawk)
Inhabits forests, open areas with scattered trees. Short, wide wings and a long tail make it agile, it quickly flies through the trees in pursuit of prey.
It “hangs” in the air in search of prey rabbits, hares, field mice and other rodents, which it catches with heavily feathered paws. Preferred habitats are swamps and farmland.
Large bird with wide rounded wings, short neck and tail. When taking off, folds its wings into a V-shape, tail inflates. The plaintive cry of a buzzard is mistaken for a cat’s meow.
Greater Spotted Eagle
It feeds on mammals the size of a hare, birds (including waterfowl), amphibians, lizards, snakes, frogs, small fish, carrion and insects. In the Urals, the main prey is the northern water vole.
This species builds nests in the tops of trees; hunts in forests, mountains, on hills, along rivers at altitudes up to 1000 m, in steppes and farmlands. Prefers wetlands for wintering.
Majestic birds prey on rabbits and large rodents, but also feed on carrion, do not migrate, but remain on their territory all year round. Shout in a high-pitched screech, but are usually silent.
The universal hunter sometimes engages in piracy, taking food from other birds of prey and even otters. Eats mainly fish, but also feeds on birds, rabbits, hares, and carrion.
The diet is varied, from insects to medium-sized birds, large lizards, young rabbits and partridges, all are edible. The dwarf eagle attacks spectacularly, falling like a stone down for prey.
Breeds in trees 15-20 m above ground in parklands and forests at the edge of the tree line. Saker Falcon does not build its own nest, but occupies abandoned nests of other birds.
Prefers hilly mating areas, lives in dense forests, open areas and semi-deserts. The bird hunts at an altitude of 10 to 2000 meters. This species travels great distances in search of food.
Catches medium sized birds in fast, exciting attacks from top to bottom. In the cities he masterfully catches pigeons. Elsewhere it feeds on shore birds and ducks. Sits on high, waiting for the right opportunity for a sharp fall stone down.
Inhabits wooded tundra, on rocks near rivers, lakes and coasts, high above tree line. Hunts in the air, on land and in water for birds, especially partridges, small mammals.
Lives near bodies of water, in wastelands or swamps. Hunts between sparse trees or along the edges of the forest. It feeds on small birds and large insects, catches prey with its claws in flight, and passes it to its beak in the air.
Other birds of prey of the Urals
Flocking bird of prey uses abandoned nests of corvids or other birds of prey. The species winters in southern Africa. Feeds on insects; parents feed chicks on small vertebrates.
A small, fast-flying predator feeds on small birds, captures prey in the air after a lightning attack. It has been found since the middle of the last century in cities where it hunts sparrows.
This is the most urbanized predator, found in parks, gardens, small forests, gorges. Kestrels are solitary or live in pairs and treat humans without caution.
Occurs in open areas in breeding and wintering areas. During migration and when searching for food, steppe kestrels form large flocks. Like swallows, they like to sit on electric wires.
Suitable habitat for the short-toed eagle is near nesting sites for snakes and other reptiles, the most important prey. The bird is found in wet areas such as swamps and grasslands.
Prey on small to medium sized mammals such as gerbils, voles, hamsters and ground squirrels. Less likely to attack reptiles, amphibians and birds. Found in semi-deserts, deserts, steppes, low mountain ranges.
Medium-sized strong birds of prey with wide wings. They feed on birds or small mammals, animal remains (carrion). They lay their eggs in a hole in the ground.
Feeds on carrion of medium, large domestic and wild animals. There are reports of birds attacking wounded or weak sheep, cattle. Breeds in colonies of up to 100 pairs.
Hunts birds in enclosed spaces such as dense forests, so gardens are ideal hunting grounds. Males catch birds up to the size of a thrush, females are larger, attack birds up to the size of a pigeon and bats.
Inhabits mature deciduous and mixed forests. Nests in tree cavities, rock pits, or uses nests of large birds or squirrels. Prey on mammals, birds, frogs and insects.
Owls sit on or near the ground in open areas. They perch on dune ridges or on railings, telephone poles, and hay bales. When they fly, stay close to the ground.
Lives in forests, also found in rocky areas where there are trees, in the taiga. Leads a nocturnal lifestyle. If the eagle owl falls asleep on the ground, he can become a victim of another predator, for example, foxes.
Birds of prey live in forests, farmlands and cities. Some are easy to spot, others are much rarer or live in places that are hard to get to.
Watching a bird of prey soar high into the sky or lunge at unsuspecting prey with deadly precision is an awe-inspiring experience.
Many of the hunting birds are close to extinction, affected by exposure to pesticides. Mankind is making great efforts to conserve birds of prey, creating habitat restoration programs. Reserves and farmlands without the use of chemicals contribute to the restoration of the number of birds and their food base.