These are among the predatory birds of the wild bird world. Large British birds of prey generally range from the Merlin bird at 27cm to the recognisable endangered birds of prey like the common golden eagle between 76cm to 89cm. As a whole British birds of prey are patient yet fast working accurate hunters with keen eye site, strong beak and claws for carrying their prey. A bird of prey will eat many food groups including good sized vertebrates, carrion and other birds. Some birds of prey names are more commonly known in Britain as a whole like the Buzzard or Kestrel but some birds are in very specific locations such as the Golden Eagle which one would assume is limited due to it's large territory. Many of these birds can be used as falconry birds. Pictures of british birds of prey and preditory calls are located by clicking individual bird link in the list of birds of prey.
List of Types of Birds of Prey UK
The buzzard eats small mammals with it's favourite being rabbits. Visible in most of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England (except east). Along open hillsides and wooded valleys they build nests of large sticks or heather lined with twigs, grass and moss. Present all year round. A rounded bird of prey with a short neck. They are a dark brown colour with a finely barred tail and strong yellow claws. Eggs take about a month to hatch. Includes Buzzard bird call.
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Golden Eagle Bird
The Golden eagle has been known to take large animals such as foxes but typically eat smaller prey like hares and red grouse. Located within Scotland. Typically the same nests are used in rotation which are found a high as 2000ft above sea level. Present all year round. Not likely to be seen outside Scotland. The eagle has a golden brown head and large yellow and white beak. It is recognisable for it's size and all over brown plumage. Two eggs are typically laid but it is like that only one of the two will survive. Includes Golden Eagle bird call.
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The Goshawk eats crows, game birds, hares and wood pigeons. Located in patches across some of England, Wales and Scotland. Nests a made of leaves or pine needles. Mainly introduced to Britain they are present all year. Females are larger than males. A white underside with many dark brown specks. The wings are more brown and a brown head with a white stripe above the eye. As many as five eggs are part of a clutch. Mainly incubated by the female the eggs hatch in around five weeks. Includes Goshawk bird call.
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Hen Harrier Bird
The Hen Harrier mainly eats small mammals and birds. Breed in Scotland and Ireland. Nests can be found in willow and birch scrub as well as moor and marsh areas. Present all year. Visitors to the east and south coast of England. Male has mainly grey upper side and wings with white underside. They also have dark brown-black wing tips. The female is much more brown and speckled. Chicks take around 5 weeks to hatch and a further five weeks to be able to fly. Includes Hen Harrier bird call.
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The Adult Hobby bird will hunt for small birds. The young are fed on insects. Visitor to England. They typically nest high up in trees and may take advantage of a disused crow's nest. Uncommon in Britain. Some nest in Southern England. Their head and outer wings are dark grey with the inner wings being slate-grey coloured. They have light underparts with black streaks, red-brown thighs and yellow feet. The female lays two or three eggs which hatch in around four weeks. Once hatched the young will fly in 4-5 weeks. Includes Hobby bird call.
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Honey Buzzard Bird
The Honey Buzzard (as the name suggests) eats wild bees and their honey, wasp grubs, hornets as well as sometimes feeding on small mammals, birds and frogs. Rare Bird. A summer visitor. Nests are made of large sticks and leafy twigs. Very few breeding pairs mainly dotted around England. The plumage is brown coloured with white tipped wing edges, lighter brown tail bars and a white underside. Two eggs are typically laid and hatch in about 30-35 days. Once hatched the young fly in six weeks. Includes Honey Buzzard bird call.
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Kestrel hover in the air whilst they look along the ground for small mammals and birds. Visible across the UK. Nests are typically found inside tree cavities. The Kestrel is the most common Bird of Prey. Their back is a light chestnut-red with a grey head and tail with black edging. Four or five eggs are incubated by the female. The young fly in four to five weeks. Includes Kestrel bird call.
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Marsh Harrier Bird
The Marsh Harrier will eat small mammals, frogs, insect, some fish and of course other birds They are located in southern areas of England mainly Nests are built among marsh plants A rare bird of Britain. Males have reddish underparts and paler wingspan and head. The Female is much browner over the body with and a pale yellow head There is usually a nest of four to five of bluish-white eggs. Includes Marsh Harrier bird call.
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The Merlin mainly hunts for small birds that they typically catch in flight as they like up to the prey in motion. Visible across Britain. Visitors to Southern England. Nests are built on the ground or possible in an old crow's nest. Present all year. Visitors come from Iceland. The head, wings and tail are a blueish-grey colour with black-grey edges. The underside is a light brown with brown specks. Juveniles have much browner plumage. It can take up to 60 days for the young to hatch and be able to fly. Includes Merlin bird call.
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Montagus Harrier Bird
Montagu's harrier eat small birds, voles, shrews, rabbits, lizards and insects. Visiting locations restricted to just the very south of England. Nests are built on the ground. Rarely breed in Britain. The male body is mainly grey with a black bar in the wings and brown streaks in the tail. The female is mainly various shades of brown with specks in the chest and underside with a white eye patch. Juveniles resemble the female plumage but with more of a chestnut coloured underside. The young are laid over two or three which will hatch after four weeks. The female will tend the young until after three weeks when she will help the male with the hunt in order to increase food levels for the family. Includes Montagus Harrier bird call.
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Ospreys, also known as Fish Hawks use there keen eye sight and strong scaled claws to dive into the water and carry fish of up to 2kg back to their nest. An occasional visitor to odd parts of Britain. They usually nest on top of pine trees made with sticks is reused most years. Rare. Some breed in certain parts of Scotland. They have a white head with a dark stripe across the eye. The upper side and wings are dark with slightly speckled white underside. The eggs are incubated by the female. The young will likely fly within nine weeks. Includes Osprey bird call.
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Peregrine Falcon Bird
Peregrine falcons eat medium-sized birds such as wading birds and small ducks. Visible across the UK except some parts of Southern/Eastern England. The nest is basically scraped rock on a cliff ledge. Present all year round. Some winter visitors along the east coast of Britain. The upper part of the body is blueish grey with a white underside including many dark specks. The top of the head is dark with white underside and a 'Mustache' like black mark under the eyes. Females tend to be larger than males. Eggs hatch in about a month and they fly within six weeks. Includes Peregrine Falcon bird call.
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Red Kite Bird
Commonly eats small mammels, insects and birds. Re-introduced into England and Scotland. I have often seen up to a half dozen or more in and around Chilterns, Oxfordshire. The next is commonly made of sticks and mud. They also make use of general items available to the area such as paper and bones. Present all year. With a pale whitish head and yellow beak with black tip the Red Kite has brownish-red upper parts of the body and when hovering in a circling motion you can view it's forked tail The kite typically lays two or three eggs with reddish-brown markings Includes Red Kite bird call.
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Sparrowhawks mainly eat small birds which they a commonly known to ambush as their preferred method of successful hunting. Visible right across the whole of the UK. The nest built of sticks and lined with down and twigs. Present all year. Male sparrowhawks have bluish-grey back and wings and brown-orange bars on their chest and underbelly. Females have brown back and wings and brown bars underneath. Young birds are similar to females. Three to six are eggs are laid. Includes Sparrowhawk bird call.
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