NW Ohio Birds of Prey

Flying killing machines

Ohio birds of prey, also known as raptors, include hawks and owls.  These amazing birds can be seen throughout all of Northwest Ohio as well as the rest of the state.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Looks mean doesn't he?

Some Ohio birds of prey are year-round residents while others are migratory.  Some spend the summer here while others come down from the far north to spend the winter here (hard to believe anything would want to spend the winter in Ohio).

Raptors are designed to be highly efficient killing machines.  They are light weight but very powerful.  They have very sharp claws and beaks for catching small animals.  Their wings are also designed for hunting.  Some raptors soar high in the air while hunting.  Others are designed for speed and maneuverability.

Birds of Prey Photo Gallery

 

The Eyes have it!

The eyes of raptors are perhaps the most amazing part of these birds.  Not only are they very piercing to look at they are also essential to their survival. 

First, birds of prey have binocular vision.  The eyes are positioned forward facing on their heads so they have overlapping fields of vision.  This allows them to judge distances very accurately.  When pursuing quick prey distances are changing quickly.  The raptor's eyes need to adjust just as quickly.

Another feature of raptor eyes is that they are structured much like a telescope.  The eye lens is flat and far from the retina.  This allows projection of large visual images.

Curved corneas and large pupils let in a lot of light.  The retina is packed with light receptor cones that produce fine-grained images.

These features may sound much like the human eye but research has indicated that birds of prey can distinguish their prey at two to three times the distance a human can.

 

Hawk Photos

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk

Coopers Hawk
Coopers Hawk

American Kestrel
American Kestrel


 

Owl Photos

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Barn Owl
Barn Owl


Screech Owl
Screech Owl

Saw-whet Owl
Saw-whet Owl

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl



Northwest Ohio Hawks

Usually when a larger sized bird is seen soaring in the air it is automatically assumed to be a hawk, which it possibly is.  But there are many different kinds of hawks in Northwest Ohio.  Some of them look very much alike.

The most obvious of Northwest Ohio birds of prey is the red-tailed hawk.  It is the one most often seen sitting on fences, posts or trees along the highways.  They sit and watch for rodents in the grass along the roads.  This hawk is identified by its red tail and very light colored breast feathers.

Other NW Ohio hawks include:

 

Northwest Ohio Owls

Even though they are cute owls are also raptors.  There are a lot of owls in Ohio even though they are not always as noticeable as hawks.

Owls are generally nocturnal creatures hunting during the night and sleeping during the day.  This schedule doesn't always make them as easy to spot. 

They also blend in to their environment EXTREMELY well.  Owls will perch up under overhanging branches like tangles of a pin oak.  Its very easy to walk right past them and not notice them at all.

Some of the most prevalent owls in NW Ohio include:

Other owls are seen here but many of them are migratory.  The migratory owls usually nest further north during the spring and summer months.

 

Return from Ohio birds of prey to Ohio Nature  

 


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