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(vertebrate zoology)
An order of birds containing the diurnal birds of prey, including falcons, hawks, vultures, and eagles.



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.


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


References in periodicals archive ?
De lo expuesto se desprende que todos los ordenes tienen una familia salvo falconiformes 2 y Passeriformes 14.
The fauna of birds of prey (Accipitriformes, Falconiformes and Strigiformes) in the Netherlands.
Mock (1984) argued that rapid growth of nestlings and the practice of most avian species to swallow food whole was associated with low incidence of cannibalism in birds, but pointed out that Falconiformes are able to tear their food apart and are therefore not limited by gape size.
Los requerimientos ecologicos intrinsecos de las Falconiformes hacen que muchas de estas aves puedan ser consideradas como excelentes bioindicadores, a traves de las cuales se puede evaluar y monitorear los esfuerzos de conservacion en diferentes ecosistemas, senalando en especifico la importancia de la conservacion de zonas verdes dentro y en la periferia de la ciudad, en definitiva es clave la presencia de parches verdes.
La observacion de marcas de corrosion digestiva moderada a fuerte, y la elevada perdida de elementos y la fragmentacion, sugirieron actividad de aves Falconiformes en los ensambles de los sitios cordilleranos Arroyo Malo-3 y Cueva Palulo.
Most infected birds of species that belonged to the orders Anseriformes, Falconiformes, and Strigiformes were found dead, but a few infections were detected in swab specimens from healthy mallards and feces of wild birds.
En el caso de los carnivoros, el aporte principal en cuanto al numero de especies de este gremio no fueron los Falconiformes, para los cuales solo se registraron las especies Buteo swainsoni, B.
Study population: Between January and December 2008, 74 raptors (66 Falconiformes and eight Strigiformes) of 15 species (Table 1), juveniles and adults from both sexes (39 males and 35 female), were evaluated for the presence of ectoparasites.
A review and checklist of the parasitic mites (Acarina) of the Falconiformes and Strigiformes.
Los ordenes de aves con mayor riqueza especifica fueron Anseriformes (11), Charadriforme, (9), Ciconiformes (8), Gruiformes (5), Passeriformes (5), Falconiformes (4), Pelecaniformes (2), Coraciformes (1) y Strigiformes (1).
Levantamento, area de vida, uso e selecao de habitat de Falconiformes na regiao central do Estado de Sao Paulo.
Among non-Passeriformes, the order Apodiformes comprised eight species (11%), followed by Falconiformes with six species (8%) and Columbiformes with five species (7%) (Appendix A).