Raptor Free Flights: About the Birds
Raptors or birds of prey capture live prey, have large talons (nails), and a hooked beak. When looking at our Raptor Free Flight species, one of our birds doesn't quite fit all of the criteria to be a true raptor.
The Roadrunner catches live prey, including rattlesnakes but does not have the large talons or hooked beak so is not a true raptor. However Roadrunners are common to the Sonoran Desert region and at the demonstration you can see more than just a quick glimpse.
The Ferruginous Hawk is a true raptor that makes the Sonoran Desert home, but only during the winter months. Their wide gape, or mouth, makes it easier for them to eat their favorite prey item, prairie dogs.
The Common Barn Owl is so named due to its almost worldwide range, on every continent except Antarctica. Barn Owls are nocturnal and fly silently through the night using their acute sense of hearing to locate prey.
Unlike other raptors, Harris Hawks hunt and live in family groups. Family groups range in size from 3 to 7 hawks. Family groups work together to protect their territory and care for their young.
Click on each bird type for more detailed information and pictures.