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(hawks), a family of birds of the order Falconiformes. The body length ranges from 28 cm to 115 cm. The bill is sharply curved and lacks an appendage before the apex of the culmen. The broad wings are adapted for prolonged flight, soaring, and maneuvering among trees. The family consists of 205 species, which are widely distributed across the globe except in Antarctica and the northern arctic. The USSR has 35 species, belonging to 16 genera, notably Aquila, Haliaeetus, Milvus, Buteo, Gyps, Circus, and Accipiter. Four migratory species are regularly observed.
Many species of the Accipitridae are migratory. They live in forests as well as in open places. They nest in trees or rocks or on the ground. There are one to six white or spotted eggs per clutch. Either the female or both parents incubate the eggs. The young grow two coats of down. The Accipitridae feed on vertebrates, carrion, mollusks, and insects. They hunt in various ways: by regularly flying over a specific territory; lying in ambush; observing prey from a high point, such as a cliff tree, or haystack; or soaring for extended periods of time.