Plateau: Birds of Prey

Plateau: Birds of Prey


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Title: Birds of Prey
Authors: Steven W. Carothers, Dorothy A. House
Publication Date: 1993

"The diversity of habitats found on the plateau supports twenty two species of breeding raptors and another ten species that are either occasional transients or regular winter visitors. "Relationships Among the Raptors" The taxonomic relationships among these birds are vigorously debated and remain something of a scientific mystery. The fact that owls, hawks, eagles, falcons, condors, and vultures are collectively termed "raptors" stems from a 1872 publication by Elliott Coues, Key to the North American Birds. "Birds of Prey on the Plateau" It is a rare day on the Colorado Plateau, whether you are driving from one national park or monument to the next, taking in the view from a scenic point, hiking a trail, or sitting in a forest glade, that "hawks" of one kind or another are not present to share the scene. "Raptorial Adaptations" All raptors, including scavengers, have developed unique flight adaptations that reflect different foraging strategies in different habitats. "Changing Habitats and Endangered Species" Environments change because of human interference; they change despite human interference. Raptors, since they prey on a wide range of animals up and down the food chain, are among the first animals to register such alterations. "Some Final Thoughts" Through the ages, birds of prey have been either worshiped or reviled by most members of the human race-ironically, itself a predatorial species."

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