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Top 25 Wild Raptors

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Wild Raptors. Raptors are some of the most awe-inspiring birds. They are strong and agile with excellent eyesight, making them highly adept hunters. This week we feature raptors from all over the globe, from the tiny Falconet of south-east Asia to the mighty Martial Eagle of Africa. The...

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Wild Raptors. Raptors are some of the most awe-inspiring birds. They are strong and agile with excellent eyesight, making them highly adept hunters. This week we feature raptors from all over the globe, from the tiny Falconet of south-east Asia to the mighty Martial Eagle of Africa. The response to this week’s theme was amazing, we were flooded with photographs of magnificent raptors. Thank you to everyone for sharing their photographs and allowing us to appreciate these amazing birds! We will announce next week’s theme this coming Sunday so keep an eye out on the Facebook page.

The American Kestrel is a rather small raptor, standing at 20-30 centimetres tall. Given their size the majority of their prey is made up of insects (Leslie Reagan)
Black Kites have become accustomed to living around humans, in some cities in Africa and Asia they can be commonly seen foraging in urban and suburban areas (Carlo Galliani)
The Collared Falconet is one of the smallest of the falcon family, standing at just 14-18 centimetres. They are native to south-east Asia, this one was photographed in Bhutan (Sujoy Sarkar)
As their name suggests the Changeable Hawk-eagle is highly varied in its plumage. This is a normal morph with a crest but they also occur without a crest and in a dark morph (Atanu Chakraborty)
A Lesser Kestrel photographed at Lake Karla (Antonis Tsaknakis)
A crestless morph of the Changeable Hawk-eagle perched in a tree (Sukrit Biswas)
Adult Bateleurs have bright red bills and legs, this is however a juvenile. Bateleurs are widespread across much of sub-saharan Africa (Sharon Templin)
Black-winged Kites eat primarily rodents which they sometimes consume in flight (Subham Chowdhury)
Martial Eagles stand at almost a metre high and can take prey up to the size of small antelope (Sharon Templin)
The Crested Serpent Eagle hunts from an exposed perch, they take mainly reptiles (Anirban Roychowdhury)
The Long-crested Eagle makes use of open forest, they rely on trees to build their nests. This eagle was photographed in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania (Edwin Godinho)
This Northern Saw-whet Owl is found only in the woodlands of North America (Tim Nicol)
The Red-tailed Hawk builds its nest on a variety of structures like trees, cliffs, cacti and buildings (Adi Ringer)
A juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle photographed in Uttarakhand, India (Vishal Monakar)
At first glance you would not say that The Secretarybird is a raptor but Regardless they are adept hunters, stalking through the grass to catch snakes, insects and small mammals (Edwin Godinho)
The Greater Spotted Eagle breeds in the forests of central Asia. Due to deforestation in these areas, these eagles are now vulnerable to extinction (Dr S Alagu Ganesh)
Spotted Owlets nest opportunistically in cavities, in trees or sometimes in cavities previously used by other birds like mynas and parakeets (Kuntal Das)
This magnificent Steppe Eagle is considered endangered due to habitat destruction and persecution (Tauseef Zafer)
A White-bellied sea-eagle soars above the Zuari River, India (Bhargavi Gokarna)
A close up of a Griffon Vulture in Rajasthan, India (Amit Kumar Srivastava)
When courting, Laggar Falcons engage in spectacular display flights (Amit Kumar Srivastava)
An Osprey with prey in California. Ospreys are widespread, they are found on every continent! (Adi Ringer)
For a vulture, the Himalayan Griffon has a fairly restricted range, occurring in and around the Himalayan mountain range (Sandipan Ghosh)
In winter Short-eared Owls can frequently be found roosting in groups of up to 20 (Vipul Trivedi)
A White-tailed eagle in the snow in Hokkaido, Japan (Mohit Kumar Ghatak)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager


Top 25 Migratory Wild Birds




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Meet the Author

Steve Boyes
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.