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British Birds - Falcons, Owls and Swifts
With a heart-shaped face, this bird is distinctive and much-loved.

British Birds - Falcons, Owls and Swifts

Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth. Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament. The family scientific name for swifts (Apodidae) means 'without feet', since they have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead on vertical surfaces.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Bohus Cicel
Snowy Owl
(Eurasian) Hobby
Tawny Owl
Short-eared Owl
  • Group: Typical Owls
  • Binomial: Strix aluco
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • The asymmetrically placed ears are key to its hunting because they give the bird excellent directional hearing.
  • Its nocturnal habits and eerie, easily imitated call, have led to a mythical association with bad luck and death.
2.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Floyd Davidson
Barn Owl
Common Swift
Tawny Owl
Snowy Owl
  • Group: Typical Owls
  • Binomial: Bubo scandiacus
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Status: Rare Vagrant
  • These birds breed on the Arctic tundra.
  • Parents are territorial and will defend their nests against all comers.
  • Is a patient hunter that perches and waits to identify its prey before soaring off in pursuit.
3.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Raj Boora
Snowy Owl
Common Kestrel
Short-eared Owl
Merlin
  • Group: Falcons
  • Binomial: Falco columbarius
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • They rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey.
  • Often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise.
4.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Pau Artigas
Peregrine Falcon
Common Swift
Tawny Owl
Barn Owl
  • Group: Swifts
  • Binomial: Apus apus
  • Order: Apodiformes
  • Family: Apodidae
  • Status: Breeding Summer Visitor
  • This species spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks. They drink, feed and often mate and sleep on the wing.
  • They form 'screaming parties' during summer evenings.
5.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Arturo Nikolai
Merlin
Little Owl
Snowy Owl
(Eurasian) Hobby
  • Group: Typical Owls
  • Binomial: Athene noctua
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Status: Resident Introduced Population
  • It will bob its head up and down when alarmed.
  • If living in an area with a large amount of human activity, they may grow used to man and will remain on their perch, often in full view of humans.
6.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Peter Trimming
Tawny Owl
Short-eared Owl
Barn Owl
Common Swift
  • Group: Barn Owls
  • Binomial: Tyto alba
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Tytonidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • With a heart-shaped face, this bird is distinctive and much-loved.
  • Studies have shown that an individual may eat one or more rodents per night; a nesting pair and their young can eat more than 1,000 rodents per year.
7.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.fws.gov/
Snowy Owl
Peregrine Falcon
Merlin
Little Owl
  • Group: Falcons
  • Binomial: Falco peregrinus
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • The courtship flight includes a mix of aerial acrobatics, precise spirals and steep dives.
  • The male passes prey to the female in mid-air. She flies upside-down to receive the food from his talons.
8.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://photo-natur.de/
Common Swift
Little Owl
Peregrine Falcon
Common Kestrel
  • Group: Falcons
  • Binomial: Falco tinnunculus
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Have adapted readily to man-made environments and can survive right in the centre of cities.
  • It is sometimes seen, like other birds of prey, as a symbol of the power and vitality of nature.
9.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Steve Garvie
Common Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Snowy Owl
Short-eared Owl
  • Group: Typical Owls
  • Binomial: Asio flammeus
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Strigidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species Or Winter Visitor
  • They are commonly seen hunting during the day.
  • It is known to lure predators away from its nest by appearing to have a crippled wing.
10.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Tom Tarrant (Aviceda)
(Eurasian) Hobby
Common Swift
Tawny Owl
Little Owl
  • Group: Falcons
  • Binomial: Falco subbuteo
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Status: Breeding Summer Visitor
  • They nest in old nests of crows and other birds. The tree selected is most often one in a hedge or on the extreme edge of a spinney.
  • It is a very bold and courageous bird and was used in falconry.

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