Falconiformes

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Related to Falconiform: order Falconiformes

Falconiformes

[fal‚kän·ə′fōr·mēz]
(vertebrate zoology)
An order of birds containing the diurnal birds of prey, including falcons, hawks, vultures, and eagles.

Falconiformes

 

an order of diurnal birds of prey. The body length ranges from 16.5 cm in sparrow-sized falconets to 112 cm in vultures. The bill is hooked, and the base of the culmen is covered with cere. The talons are sharp and hooked; they are blunt only in vultures. The dense plumage is dull in coloration: black, gray, brown, and rusty tones predominate. The long pointed wings are adapted to precipitous flight. In some species the wings are wide with a slit apex, making it possible for the birds to soar for hours on ascending air currents.

There are two suborders: Cathartae and Falcones. Cathartae comprises only one family—Cathartidae. Falcones has four families—Pandionidae (with the single species Pandion haliaetus), Accipitridae, Falconidae, and Sagittariidae (with the single species Sagittarius serpentarius). The USSR has 52 species. The birds are distributed throughout the world except in Antarctica and on certain oceanic islands. They are found in all natural zones, from the tundra to the desert and tropical forests. Many are sedentary birds; others make long or short migrations. The birds are monogamous, nesting once a year on the ground, on rocky ledges and coastal cliffs, in trees, or in man-made structures. Many do not build nests but occupy those of other birds. Large species produce a clutch containing one or two eggs; the clutches of small species may contain as many as six or seven eggs. The incubation period ranges from 28 days for falcons to 55 days for vultures. The young birds leave the nest in one to three months.

The birds are mostly active during the day; only a few species are active at twilight. Vultures sometimes feed on moonlit nights, eating carrion found by day. Vultures of the genus Gypohierax, however, feed on the fruits of the oil palm. The diet consists of animal substances. Some species are almost omnivorous. Honey buzzards feed principally on insects, ospreys on fish, and short-toed eagles on reptiles. Some species eat mostly birds or mammals. The birds seek their prey while perched in a high place, catching the prey in the air or on the ground. Some soar for a long time or survey their hunting territory regularly from the air.

The birds play an important role in controlling the number of vertebrates, including destructive rodents. By destroying weak or diseased animals, they make the population healthy. Only a few species, for example, the marsh harrier and the goshawk, inflict losses on the hunting industry.

REFERENCES

Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 5. Moscow, 1970.

A. I. IVANOV

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TABLE 1 External parasites of raptors kept in captivity at the Centro de Investigacion y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre (CIVS) of Mexico, January to December 2008 Orden Species Falconiformes Falco sparverius (American kestrel) F.
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and Leucocytozoon spp., detected only in falconiforms, were also reported by researchers in United States, Canada, Panama and Italy (Maloney et al.
Intestinal trematodiasis in falcons (order Falconiformes).
Occurrence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa, Haemosporina) in Falconiformes and Strigiformes of Italy.
Trichomoniasis in birds of prey (Order Falconiformes) in Bahrain.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the PRT tear test as an alternative method for determining tear production in Falconiformes. Results would provide additional information when assessing corneal and conjunctival diseases.
The study population comprised 21 birds from the order Falconiformes, family Falconidae, and genus Falco.
Therefore, comparing birds within the single order Falconiformes should provide useful information.
In this study, we obtained useful PRT tear test measurements from a small group of birds in the order Falconiformes. A previous study reported the need to adapt the test to overcome anatomic differences in birds compared with mammals.