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Raptors Bird of Prey
Raptors, Birds of prey are efficient at capturing other animals, they only kill for food to sustain them and to feed their young. There are two groups, one group hunt by day, and are referred to as Diurnal, and the nocturnal raptors which are the Owls.
Raptors have talons that are very powerful and are used to seize their prey and once caught the prey rarely escape, and their beaks which they use to rip apart the prey. They have extremely good eye sight and hearing, they are very good flyers and use the wind currents and thermals to save them using up unnecessary energy.
(Common) Kestrel……FALCO tinnunculus
Kestrels are efficient Raptors a birds of prey, they are part of the Falcon family and can be found almost anywhere there is a food source, motorway embankments, fields, marshlands and in all open countryside. They grow to between 31 – 37 cm long with a wingspan of 67 – 77 cm, they nest in trees or buildings, that have large enough holes for their nest. Their main food source is voles and insects. When hunting, the common kestrel characteristically hovers about 12–25 m above the ground, searching for prey, they use the head wind to aid hovering, the common kestrel migrates south in winter.
(Common) Buzzard……BUTEO buteo
Are a common European raptor, they nest in forests and woodlands that give them access to open farmland, marshland and meadows. They grow to 48 – 55 cm long with a wingspan of 110 – 135 cm. They are resident in Central Europe but the NE European birds migrate to a warmer climate. Their food is voles,birds,insects,rabbits, toads, frogs, reptiles and earthworms. When gliding or soaring it will often hold its wings in a ‘V’ shape, female buzzard lays 2 – 4 eggs which hatch after about 1 month. The common buzzard chicks fledge the nest when they are about 45 days old, after being cared for by both of the parents.