There are 38 species of raptors found in the United States and Canada.  Most of the answers to the following quiz can be found in the book, Hawks in Flight, by Pete Dunne, David Sibley, and Clay Sutton.  Their chapter breakdowns are descriptive of the varied Raptors: Buteos/The Wind Masters, Accipiters/The Artful Dodgers, Falcons/ Distance Measured by the Horizon, Kites/Graceful Masters of the Southern Summer Skies, The Northern Harrier/The Great Fooler, Eagles and Vultures/ Big Black Birds, and The Osprey/The Fish Hawk.



1.    Which of the following is not an accurate descriptor for Raptors?

a.    Birds with talons and beaks that can tear flesh

b.    Hunt for food primarily on the wing

c.    "Game Birds"

d.    "Birds of Prey"


2.    Which of the following are not included in the term "Birds of Prey"?

a.    Hawks and Falcons

b.    Egrets and Herons

c.    Owls and Kites

d.    Eagles and Vultures


3.    Which of the following statements does not appropriately describe differences between Buteos and Accipiters?

a.    Buteos are broad-winged, short-tailed hawks.

b.    Accipiters are hawks with short, rounded wings, long tails and long legs.

c.    Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Goshawk are examples of Buteos.

d.    Buteos are soaring hawks while Accipiters are woodland dwelling hawks.


4.    The adult Turkey and Black Vultures differ in size, head color, and areas of contrast between light and dark under the wings.  True or False?  ________


5.    Besides the location of red on their bodies, name another field mark that differentiates the Red Shouldered Hawk from the Red-tailed Hawk _____________________


6.    Which Raptor flies methodically at low altitudes above marsh fields?

a.    Golden Eagle

b.    Swallow-tailed Kite

c.    Harris Hawk

d.    Northern Harrier


7.    Which Raptor has the following attribute: "Outer front toe can be rotated to face the rear in order to grasp fish more firmly?"

a.    Bald-headed Eagle

b.    Swainson's Hawk

c.    Osprey

d.    American Kestrel


8.    Which group of Raptors is described as "....regularly fluff the throat and forehead feathers when relaxed or in cool temperatures."

a.    Owls

b.    Falcons

c.    Kites

d.    Vultures


9.    While differing in size, the Crested Caracara shares the same facial marks as the American Kestrel.  True or False? ___

10.  Match Flight Field Marks or Behaviors in Column A with the
       Raptor in Column B

            Column A                                             Column B

Translucent slash across wing tip

Red-tailed Hawk

Translucent inner primaries

Red-shouldered Hawk

Belly band

Broad-winged Hawk

Dark flight feathers

Swainson's Hawk


            Column A                                            Column B

Snappy wing beat

Northern Goshawk

Deep, steady, rowing wing beat

Cooper's Hawk

Well rounded tail

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

V-notched or square cut tail



            Column A                                            Column B

Wings look like long, graceful, tapered candlesticks


Passes a perched raptor and doesn't take a shot at it

Prairie Falcon

From below this falcon is pale, tawny outline surrounding two prominent black wing struts

Peregrine Falcon

Flight is buoyant and wandering


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