The biggest and most powerful birds of prey
The world’s largest predatory birds
Many people wonder which bird is crowned ‘king of the skies’. Based on numerous analyses related to these birds’ prey size, their aggressiveness and the proportion of the bird’s body size in relation to the prey size, we have appointed the winner and the whole list in that category.
This statement may surely provoke a discussion and we are curious about your opinion on that matter.
To precede in advance – the list is not determined by size – such a comparison may be found in the article: The largest eagles – Top 10. Today we try to choose the greatest warrior among the birds of prey.
Every species mentioned in the list has its individual article, so we do not present this information here.
The world’s largest bird of prey
However, a few words must be dedicated to this category’s winner – the crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus).
The crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) is a bird, which truly surpasses all limits – the ratio of its own body mass to its prey’s mass is the largest among all birds of prey (we do not consider single unconfirmed rumors, only the hard data based on analysis of the typical size of a certain bird’s victims).
Most birds on this list are slightly bigger in terms of mere size than the crowned eagle – it is a result of their chosen habitats. Birds living in the wide-open areas have a larger wingspan than the forest species (for example the above-mentioned crowned eagle or harpy eagle).
Naturally, some items may be a little bit controversial, nevertheless, there are no doubts about number 1 – we are certain that the crown (what a meaningful name, isn’t it?) is held by the crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus), also known as the African crowned eagle.
Europe’s largest nocturnal predator
It is not a surprise that the list also holds Europe’s largest nocturnal predator – the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), as it can hunt for roe-deer and is considered the greatest dog-dominator – it attacks them quite often.
Why the golden eagle or bearded vulture are not in top positions? These birds also hunt for large prey, but their hunting style usually does not involve a direct attack on the victim, as it is in habit of the crowned eagle, which often kills its target on the ground. The abovementioned birds regularly cut off the chamois’ and wild goats’ escape, which subsequently jump down the precipice themselves, out of fear. It is not even roughly comparable to fighting a predatory primate the size of a mandrill.
As for the Steller’s sea eagle – its low rank results from the fact that it eats mostly fish.
The most powerful birds of prey – Top 10
Top 10 world’s largest birds of prey
- Crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus)
- Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo)
- Lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotos)
- Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)
- Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja)
- Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)
- Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
- Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
- Blakiston’s fish owl, Blakiston’s eagle owl (Bubo blakistoni)
- Steller’s sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus)
- Martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)
- Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)
The list does not contain condors, as they are scavenger birds, hunting only in exceptional cases. Yet the list does rank the lappet-faced vulture, for contrary to most condors, it also hunts regularly, additionally confronting jackals very often. As for the bearded vulture, it hunts even more frequently than its lappet-faced relatives, though carrion is still an important part of its menu.
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