In ornithology, the term “bird of prey” is described as any kind of bird, which own strong talons, keen sense of vision and strong curved beak, which has the capacity to tear flesh. It is mainly because of these fearsome characteristics why so many people find birds of prey one of the most terrifying creatures on Earth but there in denying to fact that these large raptors are also fascinating and majestic at the same time. There are several different criteria that are used to determine these birds´ sizes such as their total length, wingspan or weight, which actually makes it quite difficult to define the largest birds of prey. To raise awareness about these amazing birds, we decided to compile a list with some of the largest, heaviest, mightiest and most feared raptors in the world. From giant condors and scary vultures to the iconic bald eagle, here are 25 Largest Birds Of Prey That Are Pretty Awesome (While Kind Of Scary).
With a wingspan of up to 190 cm (6 ft 3 in), the Eurasian eagle-owl is sometimes referred to as the world’s largest owl. Found in a number of habitats but mostly in mountain regions, coniferous forests and steppes, the owl is a nocturnal predator, hunting for a range of different prey species, predominately small mammals, but also other birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects, and other assorted invertebrates.
Sometimes also known as the American harpy eagle, the harpy eagle is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas and one of the largest extant species of eagles in the world. Destruction of its natural habitat has caused it to vanish from many parts of its former range (mostly in Central America), but fortunately, this amazing bird still remains quite common.
Found in mountainous regions from Europe through much of Asia and Africa, the bearded vulture is a large bird of prey with a wingspan of up to 2.83 m (9.3 ft). The bird can be recognized by its unusually long, narrow wings and long, wedge-shaped tail. The bearded vulture is a scavenger with very strong acid in its stomach (estimated to be of pH about 1), which enables it to digest even large bones.
Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, the Philippine eagle is considered the world’s largest eagle in terms of length and wing surface. One of the rarest and strongest birds in the world, it has been declared the Philippine national bird. It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat due to deforestation. Fortunately, the Philippine government has made some efforts to save this species, and killing a Philippine eagle is now punishable by up to 12 years in jail.
Found in open and semi-open habitats of sub-Saharan Africa, the martial eagle is a very large eagle, with an average length of up to 96 cm (38 in), weight of up to 6.2 kg (13.7 lb) and a wingspan of up to 260 cm (8 ft, 6 in). Feeding on anything from other birds to lizards and even big and dangerous snakes including the black mamba, the martial eagle is one of the world’s most powerful avian predators.
Any guesses as to which other eagles made this list? Keep reading to find out!