Birds of Prey

(redirected from Resources.Owl)

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Types
    1.   1.1  Falcons
    2.   1.2  Eagles
    3.   1.3  Hawks
    4.   1.4  Owls
    5.   1.5  Other
  2.   2.  Speech
  3.   3.  Uses
    1.   3.1  Falconry
  4.   4.  'Souls

Birds of prey, sometimes called raptors, are carnivorous birds. They primarily hunt for their food via flight, but many species are known to be carrion eaters and scavengers, as well. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing flesh. In most cases, sexual dimorphism is marked: the females are considerably larger than the males.

Birds of prey have very good eyesight for finding food, strong feet for holding food, and a strong curved beak for tearing flesh. They also have strong curved talons for catching or killing prey. There are two different classes of raptor within 'Souls: the diurnal sorts, such as hawks, eagles, and falcons; and the nocturnal sorts, such as owls.

Many birds of prey migrate. Those that do not have specific migratory information listed are year-round residents of 'Souls.


1.  Types

1.1  Falcons

Falcons are medium-size birds of prey with long pointed wings. Instead of building their own nests, falcons appropriate old nests of other birds, but sometimes they lay their eggs on cliff ledges or in tree hollows.

Icon(s) none
Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon Merlin
Kestrel

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

  • Description: A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache." Females are larger than males.
  • Behavior: The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 322 km/h (200 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive). Peregrine falcons feed on other birds, primarily -- including the American Kestrel and many varieities of Songbird.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls. The Peregrine Falcon lives mostly along mountain ranges, river valleys, coastlines, and in cities.
  • Migration: The peregrine falcon is a passage visitor to 'Souls -- it is found here primarily in migratory periods (spring and fall). As 'Souls winters are relatively mild, however, year-round residents may be found.
  • Breeding: Peregrins can crossbreed with the Merlin, as well as the Gyrfalcon (a non-native species) and other falcon species.

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

  • Description: A small falcon, Merlins are a blue-grey back, ranging from almost black to silver-grey in different subspecies. Its underparts are buff- to orange-tinted and more or less heavily streaked with black to reddish brown.
  • Behavior: Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they can capture prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls. Merlins inhabit fairly open country, such as willow or birch scrub, shrubland, but also taiga forest, parks, grassland such as steppe and prairies, or moorland. They are not very habitat-specific and can be found from sea level to the treeline.
  • Migration: Yes -- this bird is found only in the summer months.
  • Other: Communal roosting is rare, and Merlins are well known for fiercely attacking any birds of prey that they encounter, even adult eagles.

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

  • Description: The American Kestrel is the smallest raptor in North America. Males have blue-grey wings with black spots and white undersides with black barring. The back is rufous, with barring on the lower half. The belly and flanks are white with black spotting. The tail is also rufous, with a white or rufous tip and a black subterminal band.
  • Behavior: The American Kestrel hunts by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or perching and scanning the ground for prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other small birds. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate.
  • Migration: Yes -- this bird is found only in the summer months.
  • Range: It is found only in the Northern Tides area, not in Nova Scotia.
  • Other: It is a common bird to be used in falconry, especially by beginners.


1.2  Eagles

Eagles tend to be large birds with long, broad wings and massive feet.

Icon(s) none
Golden Eagle
Bald Eagle

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

  • Description: These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. Size readily distinguishes this species from most other raptors: others are considerably smaller, including Buteo hawks which are most similar to the Golden Eagle in structure. A. c. canadensis is the subspecies found within 'Souls.
  • Behavior: Golden Eagles use their agility and speed combined with extremely powerful talons to snatch up a variety of prey.
  • Migration: Yes -- however, year-round residents are present within 'Souls territories. Summer sees a great increase in their number as nesting and breeding birds return.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: The powerful talons of the Golden Eagle ensure that few prey can escape them once contact is made. The talons of this species exert an estimated 440 pounds per square inch (3 MPa) of pressure.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

  • Description: The plumage of an adult Bald Eagle is evenly dark brown with a white head and tail -- juveniles are brownish mottled with white, lacking the white head and tail The tail is moderately long and slightly wedge-shaped. Males and females are identical in plumage coloration. The Golden Eagle is very slightly larger in weight and wingspan.
  • Behavior: Unlike some other eagle species, Bald Eagles rarely take on evasive or dangerous prey on their own. The species mainly target prey which is much smaller than themselves.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls. They prefer wetland habitat such as seacoasts, rivers, large lakes or marshes or other large bodies of open water with an abundance of fish.
  • Other: Bald Eagles often outnumber Golden Eagles at attractive food sources. Despite the potential for contention between these animals, Golden and Bald eagles are not observed to conflict frequently. The Bald Eagle is a poor choice for falconry, being timid, prone to becoming highly stressed, and unpredictable in nature.


1.3  Hawks

Icon(s) none
Red-Tailed Hawk
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Broad-Winged Hawk
Rough-Legged Hawk

Buteo

Buteo hawks are noted for their broad wings and sturdy builds. The Buteos frequently soar on thermals at mid-day over openings and are most frequently seen while doing this. They inhabit a wide range of habitats across the world but tend to prefer some access to both clearings and trees.

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

  • Description: Though the markings and hue vary across the subspecies, the basic appearance of the Red-tailed Hawk is consistent. Overall, this species is blocky and broad in shape, often appearing (and being) heavier than other Buteos of similar length. A whitish underbelly with a dark brown band across the belly, formed by horizontal streaks in feather patterning, is present in most color variations. The red tail, which gives this species its name, is uniformly brick-red above and light buff-orange below. B. j. borealis is the subspecies found within 'Souls.
  • Behavior: Its preferred habitat is mixed forest and field, with high bluffs or trees that may be used as perch sites.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other:
    • Competitors: Great Horned Owl, Rough-Legged Hawk, Northern Goshawk
    • Because they are so common and easily trained as capable hunters, the majority of hawks captured for falconry in the United States are Red-tails.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

  • Description: Adults have brownish heads, reddish chests, and pale bellies with reddish bars. Their tails, which are quite long by Buteo standards, are marked with narrow white bars. Red "shoulders" are visible when the birds are perched. It is typically larger and longer proportioned than the Broad-wing, though is slightly smaller and more slender than most other common hawks.
  • Behavior: While in forested areas, these birds typically wait on a perch and swoop down on prey. When in clearings, they sometimes fly low to surprise prey.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: Though often confused for Red Tails, the Red-Shouldered Hawk is smaller and slimmer, with slimmer wings and a darker underside.

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)

  • Description: Broad-winged Hawks' wings are relatively short and broad with a tapered, somewhat pointed appearance. There are two types of colouration: a dark morph with fewer white areas and a light morph that is more pale overall. Rare dark morphs are a darker brown on both upperparts and underparts.
  • Behavior: They breed in deciduous forests good for nesting and forage primarily in wetlands and meadows.
  • Migration: Yes -- found primarily in summer, with some year-round residents remaining.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: The light morph of this bird is most likely to be confused with the Red-shouldered Hawk, but they have a longer, more heavily barred tail and wings with a solid rufous color in the adult which are usually distinctive.

Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

  • Description: Distinguishing characteristics in all plumages include long white tail feathers with one or more dark subterminal bands. The wing tips are long enough to reach or extend past the tail when the animal is perched. It is easily distinguished by its feathered legs -- an anomaly amongst other Buteo hawks found in 'Souls.
  • Behavior: It is the only hawk of its size (other than the very different-looking Osprey) to regularly hover over one spot, by beating its wings quickly.
  • Migration: Yes -- the Rough-Legged hawk is found only in winter in the 'Souls territories; it flies north to breed.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: Compared to its more common cousin, the Red-tailed Hawk, it is slightly larger, though may be outweighed. The Red-tailed Hawk is chunkier-looking and differs in its darker head, broader, shorter wings, barring on the wings and the tail, dark leading edge to the wings (rather than black wrist patch) and has no white base to the tail.


Accipter

Icon(s) none
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Goshawk

Accipter hawks are slender with short broad rounded wings and a long tail which helps them manoeuvre in flight. They often ambush their prey, mainly small birds and mammals, capturing it after a short chase. The typical flight pattern is a series of flaps followed by a short glide. They are commonly found in wooded or shrubby areas.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

  • Description: Cap dark and upperparts blue-grey (the former darker). Often, a few more or less random white spots can be seen on the back. Underparts white with rufous or tawny bars. This is a small Accipiter hawk and is the smallest hawk in North America.
  • Behavior: These birds surprise and capture all their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They are adept at navigating dense thickets and many attacks are successful, although this hunting method is often hazardous to the hawk.
  • Migration: Some -- there are year-round residents, but some individuals winter in the south.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: Easily mistaken for the slightly larger and lankier Cooper's Hawk, which match the Sharp-shinned in plumage. In flight, the Cooper's, with its longer wings and larger head, is sometimes compared to a "flying cross"; whereas the broader-winged and smaller-headed Sharp-shinned is described as a "flying mallet".

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

  • Description: Adults have red eyes and have a black cap, with blue-gray upper parts and white underparts with fine, thin, reddish bars. Their tail is blue gray on top and pale underneath, barred with black bands. The Cooper's Hawk appears long-necked in flight and has been described by birdwatchers as looking like a "flying cross".
  • Behavior: These birds capture prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation, relying almost totally on surprise. One study showed that this is a quite dangerous hunting style. The Cooper’s Hawk is seen mostly flying with quick, consecutive wing beats and a short glide, though they may also soar.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: Small males are nearly identical in size to large female Sharp-shinned Hawks. Although the coloration is generally somewhat similar between Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper's Hawks, Cooper's appear broader-chested and larger headed, with generally more robust features.

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

  • Description: The Northern Goshawk is the largest member of the genus Accipiter.[4] It is a raptor with short, broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to manoeuvring through trees in the forests it lives and nests in. It is blue-grey above and barred grey or white below.
  • Behavior: Northern Goshawks can be found in both deciduous and coniferous forests. They seem to only thrive in areas with mature, old-growth woods. Goshawks are often seen flying along adjoining habitat types, such as the edge of a forest and meadow; flying low and fast hoping to surprise unsuspecting prey.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.


1.4  Owls

Owls are variable-sized, typically night-specialized hunting birds. They fly almost silently due to special feather structure to reduce turbulence. They have particularly acute hearing.

Icon(s) none
Great Horned Owl
Snowy Owl
Barred Owl
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Short-Eared Owl
Long-Eared Owl

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

  • Description: The underparts are usually light with some brown barring; the upper parts are generally mottled brown. This is a heavily built, barrel-shaped species, and has a large head and broad wings. Adults have large ear tufts and it is the only very large owl in its range to have them. The Great Horned Owl is the heaviest extant owl in Central and South America and is the second heaviest owl in North America, after the closely related but very different looking Snowy Owl.
  • Behavior: Owls hunt mainly by watching from a snag, pole or other high perch, sometimes completely concealed by the dusky night and/or partially hidden by foliage. From such vantage points, owls dive down to the ground, often with wings folded, to ambush their prey. They also hunt by flying low over openings on the ground, scanning below for prey activity. The stiff feathering of their wings allows owls to produce minimal sound in flight while hunting.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls. It is among the world's most adaptable owls in terms of habitat.
  • Other: The Long-eared Owl can be somewhat similarly marked and shares the feature of prominent ear tufts, but it is considerably smaller and more slender, with a grayish line running down the middle of the facial disc and with ear tufts located more closely to each other on the top of the head.

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)

  • Description: This yellow-eyed, black-beaked white bird is easily recognizable. The adult male is virtually pure white, but females and young birds have some dark scalloping; the young are heavily barred, and dark spotting may even predominate. Its thick plumage, heavily feathered taloned feet, and colouration render the Snowy Owl well-adapted for life north of the Arctic Circle.
  • Behavior: Both sexes attack approaching predators, dive-bombing them and engaging in distraction displays to draw the predator away from a nest.
  • Migration: Yes -- found only in winter months.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls. Snowy Owls are attracted to open areas like coastal dunes and prairies that appear somewhat similar to tundra.
  • Other: Competitors: Rough-legged Hawks, Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Short-eared Owls, and Great Horned Owls. They are normally dominant over other raptors although may (sometimes fatally) lose in conflicts to large raptors such as other Bubo owls, Golden Eagles and the smaller but much faster Peregrine Falcons.

Barred Owl (Strix varia)

  • Description: It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes. It is the only typical owl of the eastern United States which has brown eyes; all others have yellow eyes. The upper parts are mottled gray-brown. The underparts are light with markings; the chest is barred horizontally while the belly is streaked vertically.
  • Behavior: The Barred Owl's nest is often in a tree cavity. The Barred Owl is a very opportunistic predator. The principal prey of this owl are meadow voles, followed by mice and shrews of various species. The most significant predator of Barred Owls is the Great Horned Owl.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: This streaky, chunky-looking owl is unlikely to be confused over most of the range. Due to their fairly large size, the Barred Owl may be confused for the Great Horned Owl by the inexperienced but are dramatically different in shape and markings. The Spotted Owl is similar in appearance but has spots rather than streaks down the underside.

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)

  • Description: In relative size to other owls they are close to the size of an American Robin. The Northern Saw-whet Owl has a round, light, white face with brown and cream streaks; they also have a dark beak and yellow eyes.
  • Behavior: These birds wait on a high perch at night and swoop down on prey. They mainly eat small organisms with a focus on small mammals in their diet.
  • Migration: Some are permanent residents, while others may migrate south in winter or move down from higher elevations.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

  • Description: A medium-sized owl. Its plumage is mottled tawny to brown with a barred tail and wings. The upper breast is significantly streaked. Its flight is characteristically floppy due to its irregular wingbeats.
  • Behavior: The Short-eared Owl nests on the ground in prairie, tundra, savanna, or meadow habitats. Nests are concealed by low vegetation, and may be lightly lined by weeds, grass, or feathers. Hunting occurs mostly at night, but this owl is known to be diurnal and crepuscular as well. Its daylight hunting seems to coincide with the high-activity periods of voles, its preferred prey. It tends to fly only feet above the ground in open fields and grasslands until swooping down upon its prey feet-first.
  • Migration: Some are permanent residents, while others may migrate south in winter or move down from higher elevations.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: Competition can be fierce with the Northern Harrier, with which the owl shares similar habitat and prey preferences. Both species will readily harass the other when prey is caught.

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

  • Description: The Long-eared Owl is a medium sized owl. It has erect blackish ear-tufts, which are positioned in the center of the head. The ear-tufts are used to make the owl appear larger to other owls while perched. The Long-eared Owl’s brownish feathers are vertically streaked.
  • Behavior: It nests in trees, often coniferous, using the old stick nests of other birds. The Long-eared Owl hunts over open country by night. It is very long winged.
  • Migration: Yes -- Long-Eared Owls are found only in 'Souls territories during the summer.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: The Long-eared Owl generally has different habitat preferences from the Short-eared, most often being found concealed in areas with dense wooded thickets. The Short-eared Owl is often most regularly seen flying about in early morning or late day as it hunts over open habitats. The Short-eared Owl also differs structurally from Long-eared, having longer, slimmer wings.


1.5  Other

Icon(s) none
Osprey
Northern Harrier

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

  • Description: A diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.
  • Behavior: The Osprey breeds near freshwater lakes, and sometimes on coastal brackish waters. Rocky outcrops just offshore are used. The nest is a large heap of sticks, driftwood and seaweed.
  • Migration: Yes -- not found in the winter months.
  • Range: Not found above Halcyon Mountain.
  • Other: The Osprey is the provincial bird of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

  • Description: The male is mainly dark grey above and white below except for the upper breast, which is grey like the upperparts, and the rump, which is white; the wings are grey with black wingtips. The female is brown above with white upper tail coverts. The adult male is sometimes nicknamed the "Grey Ghost", because of his striking plumage and spectral aura.
  • Behavior: This medium-sized raptor breeds on moorland, bogs, prairies, farmland coastal prairies, marshes, grasslands, swamps and other assorted open areas. The nest is built on the ground or on a mound of dirt or vegetation. Nests are made of sticks and are lined inside with grass and leaves.
  • Range: Throughout 'Souls.
  • Other: If a potential predator visits, both parents respond aggressively, issuing alarm calls and striking with talons. Fledgings are predated regularly, especially by Great Horned Owls. Short-eared Owls are natural enemies of this species that favor the same prey and habitat, as well as having a similarly broad distribution. Occasionally, both harriers and Short-eared Owls will harass each other until the victim drops its prey and it can be stolen

2.  Speech

According to our Speech Guide, this creature speaks Low Speech naturally. It is therefore not able to communicate with Luperci in its natural state. However, this creature is listed as having the ability to comprehend high speech, and may be able to learn to speak broken high speech.

3.  Uses

  • Food
  • Feathers
  • Companions and pets

3.1  Falconry

4.  'Souls

  • Something!
Categories: Fauna | Resources