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Is a carrion eater only....

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Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 06:29   #1
Talon 1
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Is a carrion eater only....

a bird of prey?

Vulture, caracara, stork etc.

If not then what are they if not raptors
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Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 06:59   #2
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Free,
I would hesitate in applying certain of these very loosely termed and conceptual attributions to any taxonomical groups. Basically, certain terms refer to feeding habits more than anything else. Normally, the loosest definition of "bird of prey" would have it that any bird, regardless of family group, that actively hunts and kills for nourishment live food is a bird of prey. A more restricted definition includes the parameters of having specialized talons and strong recurved beaks for this purpose and would include Accipitridae, Falconidae and Strigidae (incl. Tytonidae), and commonly the term Raptor is used for these. Some leave out the Owls (by some not considered Raptors). Carrion Eaters are found in several groups and express food procurement mechanisms more than anything else. The Old World Vultures are in Accipitridae, the New World Vultures are normally collocated in Ciconiidae (Storks). So, it is by and large a question of semantics - if the only condition for being a bird of prey is to catch and eat live organisms (intended here as being higher vertebrates) then we would have to include such groups as the Gulls, the Herons and numerous others...
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Last edited by cuckooroller : Wednesday 22nd June 2005 at 07:07.
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Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 07:30   #3
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It is largely a matter of convention. Vultures (both Old and New World) and Caracaras are certainly birds of prey. Storks are not. I would go as far as to say that Owls are not (I would say 'birds of prey AND owls')' but that is purely a matter of personal preference and I could not justify it on the grounds of either science or logic.
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Old Wednesday 22nd June 2005, 13:09   #4
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"a bird of prey?
If not then what are they if not raptors"

Having seen the humble Robin both hunt live prey and scavange carrion, (feeding on dead rabbit, roadkill) then where would you put it.
Same goes with the tit family, blackbirds, thrushes etc etc.


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Old Tuesday 28th June 2005, 06:38   #5
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Interesting this.
So where do you draw the line?
Is a Robin a 'bird of prey' or a 'Magpie'
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Old Wednesday 29th June 2005, 04:22   #6
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Hi free,to answer your questions,we first need to pose the question, ''what is a raptor''? i did a search on google for a 'raptor' definition. This yielded some interesting results, some of which contradict.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...=define:RAPTOR

Most of these 'raptor' definitions are woven around conventional birds of prey species - hawks,falcons and eagles and sometimes owls. However, 'raptor' is derived from Latin rapere, which means to ravish, to rape, to snatch [as in taking something by force, or to do "dastardly" things to it].This is the proper use of the term raptor. Some Passerines (e.g genus corvus) may come into this original usage especially if we consider its etymological use, in the sense of the egg snatcher and the shell snatcher. The connotation,however, is given close to the sense of grasping/seizing something with feet,talons,claws.It has been subsequently colloquialized to infer predator/bird of prey. Its ubiquitous usage in literature is perhaps ridiculous ... but it persists....

reflection: why is a magpie or robin not a raptor? Is it not the images invoked?
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Old Wednesday 29th June 2005, 05:34   #7
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Ditto for the shrike. A raptor?
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Old Wednesday 29th June 2005, 12:07   #8
samuel walker
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I've witnessed Canada goose and mallard nibbling on dead fish during early Spring.Does that class them as omnivours?
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Old Wednesday 29th June 2005, 19:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free
Interesting this.
So where do you draw the line?
Is a Robin a 'bird of prey' or a 'Magpie'
I guess the answer is you draw the line where you want - Bird of Prey is not a scientific definition.

Convention probably favours David FG (maybe Americans lump BOPs and Owls together as Raptors???) or somthing close to that.

But that's all really.

I you chose to call a Magpie a Bird of Prey, why not call a Dipper a Wader?

(Which you can if you want to BTW )
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Old Thursday 30th June 2005, 04:19   #10
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"why not call a Dipper a Wader?"


Because its a Diver!!


Regards

Malky, thinking of old style divers with the lead lined boots for walking along the sea/river/loch/lake bed.
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Old Thursday 30th June 2005, 15:34   #11
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