10 Must See Raptors in India
One of the most remarkable sights in nature is that of a raptor hunting. Defying the law of gravity, eyes fixed on its prey from great heights, it swoops down like a flash of lighting to devour his well-deserved food.
These birds of prey are endowed with brilliant vision, eight to ten times as better than humans that helps them spot prey from miles away. The beak is curved at the end to help them tear flesh and powerful legs to carry food across distances.
Raptors in India help maintain the ecology by keeping a check on the growing population rodents and other animals. Here’s a list of raptors that are found in India:
This fierce hunter can dive at a speed of about 320 km an hour. They have a black head with a prominent black mustache that adds to their ferociousness.
Crested Serpent Eagle
The area from the lower Himalayas to Sri Lanka and Andamans is under the rule of Crested Serpent Eagles. They feed on snakes, reptiles, amphibians and small birds.
The White Bellied Sea Eagle
These raptors like seafood apart from the regular bird and mammals on their menu. They feed on carrion as well (dead prey).
Skilled hunters, white-bellied sea eagles often catch their prey by performing spectacular swoops. Some sight!
These raptors with a bone diet are known for their fascination with the red colour. One of the largest old world vulture species, they are found in the higher regions of the Himalayas.
Shy falconets are found in lightly forested areas. Using their short wings, they fly from tree to tree flaunting their black tail with four white bars like an identification mark.
This raptor likes its food fresh and hunts underwater as others of its kind do in the air. It dives deep into the water to catch live fish. Capture one in the act and you’ll be amazed at the precision that nature has given to its army of raptors.
Starting from North-Eastern Siberia and Northern China to Nagaland, India and then to Africa, this falcon has quite a wanderlust.
They prey on termites and insects that harm crops. The tribals in India consider them auspicious, as a sign of good harvest.
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Similar to pigeons so not raptor like, but kite like; they feed on the larvae of bees and wasps, eating honey and honeycombs occasionally. They live in woodlands, especially the ones with broad-leaved trees.
Found across Asia and Africa, this small bird is as brave and fierce as a lion. With short wings and long tails, they move swiftly. The female shikara is bigger than the male, like in the case of most raptors.
With its deadly appearance, black (upper edges of the) wings, white head and red eyes, this one makes quite an elegant impression. They are famed for their glorious aerial stunts. They hunt solo or in pairs and are territorial when it comes to food.
The magnificence of these mighty raptors is inspiring to witness and absorb.