Raptors have a special fascination for many. They range in size from the tiny Elf Owl to the Cinereous Vulture, the largest. And yes, vultures are considered raptors.
Here is our pick of ten of the largest and most fascinating raptors of the world.
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(also called the Eurasian Black Vulture)
Wingspan: Can exceed 10 feet.
This Eurasian Species is found in isolated parts of Spain, west to China and into Korea.
Like most vultures its diet is primarily carrion.
The Philippine Eagle
(or Monkey-eating Eagle)
Wingspan: Can exceed 7 feet
This very rare raptor has been declared the Philippine national bird.
It is a forest eagle that suffers from loss of habitat. Its diet includes monkeys, birds bats and assorted reptiles.
Keep reading: The Largest Eagle In The World
“Pithecophaga jefferyi” by scorpious18 on Flickr – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons
Wingspan: Can exceed 7 feet
The Steller’s Sea Eagle is one of the heaviest eagles in the world, and can weigh up to 20 lbs. The Harpy Eagle is similar in size.
It is found in the Kamchatka Peninsula and ranges south to Japan.
ell-know for its extremely large and powerful beak. It feeds on fish and sea birds.
Wingspan: Can exceed 8 feet. Weight to 14 pounds.
This large eagle is found in sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in open and semi-open areas. Feeds on other large birds, mammals and reptiles.
Photo originally posted to Flickr as Kenyan Raptor !. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons
Several Owls vie for the top spot as the world’s largest owl.
Wing Span: Up to 75 inches, weight to 10 pounds.
A rare owl found in Russia. Its habitat is riparian forest, with large, old trees for nest-sites, near lakes, rivers, springs and shoals that don’t freeze in winter.
Wingspan: To 75 inches. Weight: To 10 lbs.
Wide spread in Europe and Asia.
Feeds on birds, reptiles, fish.
“Bubo bubo winter 1” by Kamil.Corrections: Piotr_J – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
Winspan: May exceed 60 inches.
The Great Gray Owl is the only one of the three owl species mentioned here that is found in the United States. It is lighter and with a shorter wingspan that the above species but is longer so it makes our list.
“Strix nebulosaRB” by photo taken by jok2000 – Originally uploaded on English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
Andean Condor – the largest bird of prey
Wing span: 10 feet, 6 inches.
Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America. It has the longest wing span of any raptor (10 feet 10 inches), only exceeded by a few sea or water birds.
Also known as the largest bird of prey, the Andean Condor
“Andean Condor Male” by Greg Hume – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
Wing span: To nearly 10 feet. Weight: to 25 pounds.
The California Condor is only slightly small that the Andean Condor. It is only slightly lighter than the Trumpeter Swan,the heaviest bird in the U.S. and ties the American White Pelican for the largest wing span of any bird in the United States.
Wingspan: Up to 80 inches.
Bald Eagles do not get their entirely white head and tail until they are about 4 years old. Once they reach that age, they can begin nesting, and they often select a nesting location that is not too far from where they were hatched several years earlier.
As national symbols, these large birds of prey are well-known to almost everyone.
Wingspan: to 80 inches
A very large predator with a variety of exceptional hunting skills, the Golden Eagle primarily hunts mammals, in contrast to the Bald Eagle which is primarily a fish eater. Occasionally, Golden Eagles have captured prey as large as coyotes or pronghorn.
Golden Eagles are known to engage in what is described as play, where a bird will carry an object high into the air, drop it, and then swoop down to catch it again. Unlike some other raptors, if a human approaches a Golden Eagle nest, the eagles are more likely to fly away than attack.
Golden Eagles are wide spread with their range extending into Europe, Asia and even small parts of Africa.
Wing span: To almost 90 inches (7 1/2 feet.Weight to 20 plus pounds.
The magnificent Harpy Eagle is found in southern Mexico, Central and South America.
Don’t get on their bad side, their rear talons are about 3-4 inches long – the same size as a grizzly bear’s claws!
“Harpia harpyja -Sao Paulo Zoo, Brasil -adult-8a” by guilherme jofili – Harpia.” Uploaded by Snowmanradio. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!