The term Raptors are generally used for a group of avians known as Birds of Prey. They are birds that hunt for food primarily via flight, using their keen senses, especially vision. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males. The term "Raptor" is derived from the Latin word 'rapere' (meaning to seize or take by force) and may refer informally to all Birds of Prey, or specifically to the Diurnal group. Because of their predatory lifestyle, often at the top of the food chain, they face distinct conservation concerns.|
Raptors are classified into Noctural and Diurnal types. Diurnal raptors (those active in the daytime) ones include the Eagles, Ospreys, Hawks, Falcons, Vultures and Condors. Noctural raptors (those active during the night) ones are mostly Owls. In North America, the most recognizable Raptor is The Bald Eagle, the national emblem of the United States. The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has long been a key symbol in the human cultures of the Americas. The second largest North American bird of prey after the Californian Condor, it is also the only Eagle native solely to North America. This Eagle typically breeds in forested areas next to large bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and coastal areas, although it may also be found in more arid regions in the south of the range. The Bald Eagle may spend the winter along the coast, along major river systems, or sometimes in waterless open country.
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