112 birds of prey or raptors: types and names 

There are thousands of types of birds, but one of the most striking groups of birds that exist are raptors. These birds, also called birds of prey or birds of prey , include a large number of species with imposing characteristics and admirable beauty.

Birds of prey or raptors: main characteristics

Birds of prey, birds of prey or birds of prey have common characteristics, such as strong claws with long nails and powerful muscles. They usually have a strong and powerful curved beak . They usually have a large body, although their head is relatively small with large eyes. All these characteristics make them have an admirable and imposing beauty.

Normally, they feed on live prey , which can vary depending on the size of the species. For example, a small bird of prey such as the kestrel can capture small mammals, small birds and insects, while the golden eagle feeds on micro mammals, small mammals and larger mammals, which it kills with its powerful claws and beak. and cuts and tears its meat with its beak with great ease. In the image below you can see a bearded vulture feeding.

Types of birds of prey, of prey or of prey

According to their habits, two large groups of raptors can be distinguished . These are:

Nocturnal birds of prey

This group includes the strigids (owls) and titónids (owls) . They are characterized by having adaptations to improve their hearing capacity and to reduce the noise they make when flying.

These birds live at night, when the sense of hearing is much more important than that of sight. Their face is rounded and their beak is short, which is important to concentrate the sound of their prey a lot, so they are very sensitive to small movements.

Diurnal birds of prey

This group of birds are more diverse than the nocturnal ones. Among the diurnal raptors, the best known are eagles , which are the largest hunting birds and inhabit all ecosystems, or hawks and kestrels, which are among the fastest birds on the planet.

A special type of diurnal raptors are ghouls , which feed on carrion but do not kill their prey. They are very heavy and large birds, such as vultures or condors.

Royal eagle 

It is one of the best known and widely distributed raptors in the world, as it is found in North and Central America, Eurasia and North Africa. Some important populations are found in Great Britain, Japan, Vancouver, and the Mediterranean. Golden eagle populations in Central Europe have been reduced due to human activity.

Large bird of prey or prey that is distributed in various areas of Asia, Africa and Europe. It is common in Northwest Europe and in the Mediterranean area, such as the Iberian Peninsula. Due to the easy captive breeding of the Eurasian eagle owl it is commonly used in falconry.

Buitre torgo 

It is a large bird of prey typical of Africa and characterized by its neck devoid of feathers and pink tints, similar to a turkey. It has a powerful beak, large and more massive than in other species of vultures, which allows the torgo vulture to tear off and pierce the skin and muscles of dead animals.

Common hawk

The common hawk is a bird of prey or raptor common throughout Eurasia, from Spain to Japan, and characterized by its bluish-gray color with orange stripes dorsally. Although it is small in size, it is a great hunter.

Peregrine Falcon

Without a doubt, it is one of the best known birds of prey or raptors . It can be found all over the planet and its adults have a blue-gray back with a black head. It is the fastest bird in the world , reaching over 300 km per hour. The female peregrine falcon are larger than the male and a species that feeds on reptiles, small mammals and insects.

European owl 

It is a bird only 25 cm long and inhabits African and European regions. The European owl is characterized by its yellow eyes, its pair of rounded wings, like the rest of its body with brown plumage and white spots.

Barn owl 

This bird lives on the five continents, mainly in rural areas, meadows with medium vegetation and cultivated fields. It is a medium nocturnal bird of prey . The shape of the Barn Owl’s face allows it great hearing acuity.

Cernícalo vulgar 

Medium – sized bird of prey with a greyish brown head and russet colored wings with black spots. The common kestrel inhabits much of Europe, Asia and Africa, where it prefers small thickets and open fields.


It is a bird that can resemble a hawk or a hawk, but is more related to eagles . The common goshawk can reach between 100 and 150 cm in length and has a plumage of blackish or brown tones and a white belly with darker bands. It has short wings to move through mountainous areas and dense forests of Eurasia and America.

Andean condor 

It is a large black bird with white feathers on its neck and wings. It lacks feathers on its head, which are normally red and can vary in color depending on its emotional state. It lives in South America, especially in the Andes Mountains.

Busardo ratonero 

The buzzard is a medium-sized bird of prey from Central Europe. It has a compact appearance and plumage between dark brown and white tones. This raptor inhabits Central European meadows, heaths and fields.


It is a vulture with certain differences from other raptors. Its name comes from its habit of lifting bones and shells and throwing them against rocks to break them and feed on them. It is in danger of extinction in Europe, where it can be seen in the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees and the Alps. It is also found in North Africa, South Africa, and Greece.


The osprey is a medium-sized raptor that lives on all continents except Antarctica, although in South America it is a non-nesting migratory bird. Here you can learn more about migratory birds and other migrating animal species .

List of other names of birds of prey or of prey

Here are the names of raptors from around the world :

  • Eastern imperial eagle 
  • Iberian imperial eagle 
  • Snowy Owl 
  • Secretary 
  • Eleonora’s Falcon 
  • Pigargo vocinglero
  • Maori Hawk 
  • Bald Eagle 
  • White-horned Owl 
  • Mexican hawk or pale hawk 
  • Mochuelo de Blewitt
  • European Alcotan
  • Royal Condor 
  • Spotted owl 
  • Aguila boy 
  • Long-eared owl 
  • Costa Rican little owl
  • Gyrfalcon or Gyrfalcon 
  • Desert Owl 
  • Kaffir Eagle 
  • Esmerejón 
  • Long-eared owl 
  • Burrowing Owl 
  • Cernícalo ojiblanco
  • Alcotán oriental
  • Guatemalan autillo
  • Saker Falcon 
  • Red-breasted hawk or large black hawk 
  • Mochuelo de jungla 
  • Great Horned Owl or American Eagle Owl ( Bubo virginianus )
  • Tagarote hawk 
  • African Azor Eagle 
  • Philippine owl 
  • Cárabo gavilán 
  • Yággar hawk 
  • Cernícalo australiano
  • Steppe Eagle 
  • Moorish owl 
  • Lead hawk 
  • Aura sabanera
  • Cernícalo primilla
  • Pearl Owl 
  • Bat hawk 
  • Daring Eagle 
  • Bengal Eagle Owl 
  • American Red-headed Vulture
  • Griffon vulture 
  • Spotted Eagle 
  • Harpy Eagle or Greater Harpy 
  • Mochuelo guatemalteco 
  • Moluccan Eagle 
  • Owl or tawny owl 
  • Andean owl 
  • Spectacled Owl 
  • Alcotán turumti 
  • Chuncho
  • Borní hawk 
  • Berigora hawk 
  • Australian Falcon 
  • Hindu Spotted Eagle 
  • Milky owl or Verreaux’s owl
  • Taita’s Hawk
  • Unicolor alcotán or opaque or slate hawk
  • Jungle Aura 
  • California Condor 
  • Great horned owl or nacurutu
  • Slate or gray kestrel 
  • Mauritian Kestrel ( Falco punctatus )
  • Siguapa, ciguapa or blackish owl 
  • Pomegranate eagle
  • Cernícalo dorsinegro o cernícalo de Dickinson
  • Búho loincloth 
  • Cernicalus of Madagascar 
  • Malayan Eagle Owl 
  • Buitre negro americano
  • Autillo pacífico 
  • Madagascan Cernícalo 
  • Magellanic or Great Horned Owl 
  • Saguaro owl or dwarf owl 
  • Cernícalo patirrojo
  • Cernícalo zorruño
  • Nduk owl, Guinea owl or Fraser’s owl 
  • Vermiculated owl or ashy owl 
  • Cape Owl 
  • Autillo chóliba 
  • Mochuelo chico or alpine 
  • Mochuelo canela
  • Seychelles Kestrel 
  • Mo chuelo the chirrojo 
  • African Alcotán 
  • Striped owl 
  • Mochuelo gnome 
  • Amazonian owl 
  • Mochuelo the youngest 
  • Owl Collared ( Collared Owlet )
  • Central American owl 
  • Caburé chico 
  • Cape Owl 
  • Rusty buzzard or ferruginous hawk

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