|The Raptor's Roost|
This part of the Great Plains Nature
Center website is from the booklet
Use the links below or click on a bird in the roost to find out more about these masters of the sky!
are Raptors? They are birds of prey and include some kinds that fly
during the day such as hawks, eagles, vultures and falcons, and others that fly at night
(owls). They are primarily hunters or scavengers and feed on animals ranging in size from
rabbits and skunks to insects. Most raptors have a hooked beak for tearing meat and
talons for killing their prey. Of the 53 species of raptors found in the United
States and Canada, 30 occur regularly in Kansas and an additional six species have made
Can anyone keep a Raptor? No. Only zoos, certain educational & scientific institutions, licensed rehabilators and falconers may possess raptors. Every year, the lives of young raptors are needlessly jeopardized by well-intentioned people who take them from the wild in the mistaken belief that the animals are abandoned or orphaned and will die if not given care. Young raptors are often left unattended throughout much of the day. It is against the law to remove young raptors from the wild. If you find a raptor with an injury, note its location and contact a licensed rehabilitator in your area. Click here for a list.
What is falconry? Falconry is the sport of using trained raptors to hunt wild game. Click here to learn more about it.
Are Raptors protected? Yes, but hawks and owls have only had legal protection since 1972. Prior to that time, it was commonly believed these birds were at best nuisances and at worst, in competition with humans for wild game. We now know fluctuations in game animals are most attributable to habitat changes. Raptors play a vital role in consuming rodents and carrion, keeping the Kansas ecosystem in balance. Click here to learn more about what the law says.
How are Raptors classified? All birds belong to the Class Aves. The raptors of Kansas are within three Orders: the Falconiformes (hawks, kites, eagles and falcons), the Strigiformes (owls) and the Ciconiiformes (herons, ibises, storks and vultures). All of the Falconiformes and Strigiformes are considered raptors but only the vultures in Ciconiiformes.
Within those orders, the classification looks like this:
Go to Great Plains Nature Center Home page
Go to Flora and Fauna of the Great Plains
Go to Birds in Kansas.
Questions or comments? Send Email to Jim Mason