At 10:30 AM Saturday morning November 2, 2019, I encountered this pair of raptors on Timothy Drive just east of Elvis Presley Blvd. By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, “Raptor,” is a generic term for all birds of prey. While I am no expert in the field of Ornithology, a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds, I am confident that these two were not robins! A couple of quick Google searches brought out the following information concerning birds of prey: 1. There are five (5) types of birds of prey. They are: a. Accipitridae: hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites, and Old World vultures. b. Pandionidae: osprey. c. Sagittariidae: the secretarybird. d. Falconidae: falcons, caracaras, and forest falcons. e. Cathartidae: New World vultures Raptors, according to the spruce (thespruce.com/types-of-birds-of-prey-387307), “are carnivorous birds with strong bills, large talons, and exceptional flight capabilities. There are more than 500 species of raptors found throughout the world and different types of raptors can be found in every type of habitat (including your front and/or backyard)! A few other special characteristics that set raptors apart from other birds are their curved claws, sharp feet, strong eyesight (to see this road kill from soaring heights in the heavens above), and hooked beaks (which are visible even from the distance I took these pictures at—which was safely behind the steering wheel of my car, with my foot on the brake and ready to hit the accelerator at a moment’s notice! It is important to note that these raptors were not interested in my meat, mainly because, with the exception of vultures (which are very unsightly to look at), raptors feast on animals that are already dead. Other birds of prey, like owls which are also present in our community, are hunters that eat mice, rats, rabbits, and sometimes small birds and maybe even cats (including my beloved pet NALA), though. The word “Raptor,” is derived from the Latin term ‘rapere’ which means “to capture.” CONTEST Please correctly identity which bird of prey is pictured in this story and where it was seen. Email your responses to us at newsceneshelbyco@gmail.com by midnight December 31, 2019, for a free dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts! 24

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