Defining Raptors and Birds of Prey

What exactly is a bird of prey?

This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer. Are Owls Raptors? Are Shrikes Raptors?

As this research paper states:

“Species considered raptors are subjects of monitoring programs, textbooks, scientific societies, legislation, and multinational agreements. Yet no standard definition for the synonymous terms “raptor” or “bird of prey” exists. Groups, including owls, vultures, corvids, and shrikes are variably considered raptors based on morphological, ecological, and taxonomic criteria, depending on the authors.”

Christopher J. W. McClure, Sarah E. Schulwitz, David L. Anderson, Bryce W. Robinson, Elizabeth K. Mojica, Jean-Francois Therrien, M. David Oleyar, Jeff Johnson

Take an informed look at the problems that beset science in order to answer the simple question ‘What is a Raptor?

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