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Should? (1 Viewer)

Himalaya

Well-known member
Considering these two groups actively hunt and as far as my limited knowledge is concerned are carnivorous, why are nt Skuas and Shrikes considered as BOP's? I know they are different but then again theres so much in terms of variation in the different BOP species?

On top of that when you have certain BOP species which can be omnivorous ie Honey Buzzards eating fruit and Black Kites eating anything - I have fed them dough. Then you have vultures which may just eat dead species throughout its life and not actually ever predate anything.

Should there be some reclassifications?
 
Considering these two groups actively hunt and as far as my limited knowledge is concerned are carnivorous, why are nt Skuas and Shrikes considered as BOP's? I know they are different but then again theres so much in terms of variation in the different BOP species?

While this may not be the best explaination, I have read from this book 'Raptors: Birds of prey' by John Hendrickson saying that birds of prey and raptors are acctually different (all raptors are birds of prey but not all birds of prey are raptors). Egrets for examples can be considered birds of prey because they eat meat but they don't have the talons and beaks of eagles, owls, hawks, owls, falcons, kites, etc.
So from this statement I would say that skuas and shrikes are birds of prey but are not closely related to raptors because they lack the feet to kill.

On top of that when you have certain BOP species which can be omnivorous ie Honey Buzzards eating fruit and Black Kites eating anything - I have fed them dough. Then you have vultures which may just eat dead species throughout its life and not actually ever predate anything.

Should there be some reclassifications?

Vultures are acctually in a league of their own and while they are considered birds of prey only the old world vultures ( europe, asia, and africa) are closely related to birds of prey while the new world vultures (america) are more closely related to storks. Some vultures do kill live prey as well so not all vultures are just scavengers (but more adapted for scavenging and tearing open tough hide rather than hunting some vultures are capable of using their beak as killing weapons and feeet for controlling prey and all vultures still can fight with their feet and cut with their talons even if they lack what an eagle has in terms of sharp piercing talons).
Marabao storks should also be classified as birds of prey since the feed on live prey but they don't have the talons for that.
Honey buzzards and black kites are not the only omnivores in the raptor (talons and beaks) family, the palm nut vulture is included too as it eats palm nuts but it is known to fly into a flock of grey parrots killing one in the process.
 
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The only problem comes from the human desire to classify and pigeon hole living things. "Bird of prey" isn't a closely definable category in the same way that, for instance, mammal or bird is. Call them birds of prey if you like - they are what they are. The problem with going too far down that route is that in the end you start with skuas and shrikes and end up with robins and goldcrests via gulls, cormorants, herons etc etc. madness lies that way!!

Mike
 
I do understand the argument about the feet but then not all BOP have those feet.
Regardless of the occasional incidents Vultures kill live prey, they are less predatory than others not on the list ie Corvids, Gulls. These 2 species I would never consider BOP even the mighty GBB Gull simply because they are truly ominvorous and behave as such. They evolve and adapt their diet to whatever they can find.

Robins, thrushes etc will eat seeds and fruit along with insects, worms etc so they would never be BOP - in winter the majority ofthe diet would be fruit, berries, etc right?

Cormorants and egrets/herons are hunters - they are probably more predatory than the Golden Eagle which in some areas survive mainly on carrion. Even Divers and grebes amd kingfishers and saw-bill ducks.

Shrikes differ to similar sized insecitvores in the sense that they frequently eat smal mammals, young birds, small adult young birds - for a bird of its size it can kill fairly large prey it seems.

I think the term raptor is better.
 
I do understand the argument about the feet but then not all BOP have those feet.
Regardless of the occasional incidents Vultures kill live prey, they are less predatory than others not on the list ie Corvids, Gulls. These 2 species I would never consider BOP even the mighty GBB Gull simply because they are truly ominvorous and behave as such. They evolve and adapt their diet to whatever they can find.

I agree that vultures are generally less predatory than the list you mention, however, lappet-faced vultures and white-headed vultures (especially the white-headed vulture) frequently (or at least fairly often) during predate on flamangos and their young especially during times where its harder to find carcasses (vultures find it easier to find carcassess during drought compared to rainy seasons). Corvids and gulls and even new world vultures while being omnivorouse do not have the hook beak to rip and tear prey the way old world vultures and while old world vultures generally have flat feet and less hooked talons compared to eagles according to 'Vultures of Africa' - their feet is still strong but more adapted to run rather than to hold prey (the bearded vulture, palm nut vulture, and eurasian black vulture are the only three vultures recorded to hold food with their feet which surprisingly the lappet-faced vulture and white-headed vulture only use their beaks to carry prey though capable of controlling prey with their feet and cutting with their talons).

Robins, thrushes etc will eat seeds and fruit along with insects, worms etc so they would never be BOP - in winter the majority ofthe diet would be fruit, berries, etc right?

You raised a good question here, those robins, thrust etc would never be birds of prey because of their diet which is true compared to the more carnivorous birds.


Cormorants and egrets/herons are hunters - they are probably more predatory than the Golden Eagle which in some areas survive mainly on carrion. Even Divers and grebes amd kingfishers and saw-bill ducks.

Well, if according to Raptors: Birds of prey by John Hendrickson, egrets are birds of prey so would cormorants, herons and storks, however, they lack at least the hooked beak (which old world vultures - most of them - at least possess and while egyptian vultures and hooded vultures have long/ thin beaks at the end of those beaks are still hooked) and the long stabbing talons possess (by the others).

Shrikes differ to similar sized insecitvores in the sense that they frequently eat smal mammals, young birds, small adult young birds - for a bird of its size it can kill fairly large prey it seems.

Someone on another forum posted an account of shrikes acctually doing so.

I think the term raptor is better.

All raptors are birds of prey but not all birds of prey are raptors. Do you mean the term 'raptor' is better for shrikes?
 
A shrike would be an example of a bird of prey that isn't a raptor.

As would the swift that predates insects if you take it to the extreme.

It's much easier just to forget about it and enjoy them for what they are.
 
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