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).
Found in the Andes Mountains and adjacent Pacific Coasts of South America, the Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. It has a wingspan of up to 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in), the fifth longest in any bird (exceeded only by the wingspans of two albatross species and two pelican species). Considered near threatened, the Andean condor is also one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a lifespan of over 70 years.
Also known as the African crowned eagle or the crowned hawk-eagle, the crowned eagle is a large bird of prey found in sub-Saharan and Southern Africa. Armed with unusually large talons and very strong hind legs, the crowned eagle is considered Africa’s most powerful eagle when measured in terms of the weight of its prey items. It often preys on mammals such as bushbucks that might weigh up to 30 kg (66 lb).
Also known as bunjil or the eaglehawk, the wedged-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in Australia and one of the largest raptors in the world. Capable of soaring for long hours without a single wing beat, the wedged-tailed eagle has a wingspan up to 2.84 m (9 ft 4 in) and a length of up to 1.06 m (3 ft 6 in). It has long, fairly broad wings, fully feathered legs, and an unmistakable wedge-shaped tail (hence the name).
The Himalayan vulture is a huge Old World vulture closely related to the European griffon vulture. One of the largest vultures and true raptors, this species is found mainly in the higher regions of the Himalayas, the Pamirs, Kazakhstan and on the Tibetan Plateau with northwestern limits of the breeding range being in Afghanistan and southern limits in Bhutan.
One of the best-known and most widely-distributed birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere, the golden eagle is a huge raptor reaching up to 2.34 m (7 ft 8 in) in wingspan. For centuries, this species has been one of the most highly regarded birds used in falconry, with the Eurasian subspecies having been used to hunt and kill prey as large as as gray wolves. Due to its excellent hunting prowess, the bird is regarded with great mystic reverence in some tribal cultures.