About Our Stars – The Raptors!

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Raptors are birds of prey. Birds that hunt for their food using physical tools such as incredibly good eye sights, very sharp talons (sharp claws) and incredible agility in flight.

Raptors are direct descendants of the velociraptor dinosaurs (dinosaurs with bird-like hips that walked on 2 legs). Raptors have very strong legs and powerful feet with very sharp curved talons. They also have strong hooked beaks. Parrots have even stronger hooked beaks but rarely use them for tearing meat; instead they are used for opening hard fruit and nuts. Although other birds have very strong feet, such as an Ostrich, none can grip like a raptor, nor do they have the very sharp claws.

One of the main differences is its forward-facing eyes, i.e. binocular vision, enabling them to accurately judge distances between themselves and their prey, and the thickening of the ‘eye-brows’ in, an adaptation to block light and help them focus better – and this is what gives them the hooded look, or the majestic “eagle” look. This is a predator-adaptation.

Number of migratory raptor species visiting Malaysia

25 species.

Total number of raptor species in the world

421 [288 diurnal (day raptors) and 133 nocturnal (night raptors)].

Number of local raptor species

46 species (resident & migrants).

Largest species of migratory raptor in Malaysia

The Greater Spotted Eagle.

Largest species of local raptor

White-Bellied Sea Eagle.

Smallest species of migratory raptor

The Eurasian Kestrel (14 inches).

Smallest species of local raptor

Black-thighed Falconet.

Types of prey for raptor

Rodents, chicken, other birds, other smaller raptors, bee or wasps’ larvae, insects, fish, and reptiles.

Types of habitats where local and migratory raptors can be found

Seaside, forests, padi-fields, open country, riversides, towns, practically everywhere.

How to identify a raptor– what makes a raptor different from other birds?

Raptors have very strong legs and powerful feet with very sharp curved talons. They also have strong hooked beaks. Parrots have even stronger hooked beaks but rarely use them for tearing meat; instead they are used for opening hard fruit and nuts. Although other birds have very strong feet, such as an Ostrich, none can grip like a raptor, nor do they have the very sharp claws. one of the main differences is its forward-facing eyes, i.e. binocular vision, enabling them to accurate judge distances between themselves and their prey, and the thickening of the ‘eye-brows’ in, an adaptation to block light and help them focus better – and this is what gives them the hooded look, or the majestic “eagle” look. This is a predator-adaptation.

Why are birds of prey known as raptors?

Raptors are direct descendants of the velociraptor dinosaurs (dinosaurs with bird-like hips that walked on 2 legs).

CLICK HERE to download a study on the Northbound Migration Count of Raptors at Tanjung Tuan, Peninsular Malaysia: Magnitude, Timing, and Flight Behavior

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