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Raptors or "Birds of Prey" are the top predators in the amazing array of bird species on the globe. Typically, raptors are thought to include the wide variety of hawks and owls, worldwide, including but not limited to hawks, owls, falcons, eagles, kites and vultures. Ranging in size from the pygmy owl to a golden eagle, bird species in this group characteristically have excellent sight, strong mandibles - the upper portion being curved with a fleshy cere, efficient talons and rapid metabolisms. Many, but not all of the owls are nocturnal, a group of night predators. Typically, the other groups of raptors, including the vultures, falcons, condors, hawks, eagles, osprey and kites are diurnal, active during daylight hours.

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Updated September 2007