Teaching Science: North American Birds of Prey

Glossary of Terms

Bill – The beak or jaws of a bird

Call – A sound a bird makes

Carrion – Dead, often rotting animals

Color Phase – In birds, the term that describes a different color plumage that may occur in the same type of bird

Kettle – A flock of hawks circling together

Perch – A branch or other place where a bird settles, rests, or roosts

Plumage – A bird’s feathers

Prey – An animal that is hunted by other animals for food

Rodent – A gnawing mammal, such as a rat, mouse, or squirrel, that has long, chisel-shaped front teeth

Roost – Rest or sleep, either alone or in groups

Scavenge – Eat dead animals left by other predators or killed by cars

Stoop – Dive swiftly after prey

Territory – An area claimed and defended by an animal or group of animals

Wingspan – The measurement of a bird’s outstretched wings from tip to tip


North American Birds of Prey

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Falcons

  • American Kestrel
  • Crested Caracara
  • Gyrfalcon
  • Merlin
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Prairie Falcon

Hawks and Eagles

  • Bald Eagle
  • Broad-Winged Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • Harris’ Hawk
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-Shouldered Hawk
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Sharp-Shinned Hawk
  • Snail Kite
  • Swainson’s Hawk

Osprey

Owls

  • Barn Owl
  • Barred Owl
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Elf Owl
  • Great Grey Owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Long-Eared Owl
  • Northern Saw-Whet Owl
  • Screech Owl
  • Short-Eared Owl
  • Snowy Owl
  • Spotted Owl

Vultures

  • Black Vulture
  • California Condor
  • Turkey Vulture

Teaching Resources

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