British Birds of Prey Identification

British Birds of Prey Identification
Birds of prey in Britain can be identified through a number of different ways, including studying their behavior, as well as looking at the color of plumage and the shape of their tails.

Common Kestrel

The easiest way to identify a Kestrel is to see if it hovers in one spot, as no other British bird of prey does this. In addition, look for pointed wings and a long tail. Typically the brown coloring is redder than other birds of prey and contrasts with black outer wings.


White-Tailed Eagle

Mature white-tailed eagles are easily identifiable by their short, white tail feathers. However, if you come across an immature white-tailed eagle, look at the bird's shape, with the expansive wings, and outer primary feathers that seem to extend further out, as well as the big head and a beak that protrudes forward.


Peregrines seen from above have a dark appearance, while underneath they are pale colored. They beat their wings in a quick, shallow motion. The white chest is quite distinctive, wings are pointed and the short tail feathers taper to form an anchor shape.


Like a Kestrel, the Merlin has pointed wings but it is smaller, with a short tail and the plumage is darker. The Merlin beats its wings in a quick, shallow motion like the Peregrine and males have a black tip on the tail.

Tawny Owl

The tawny owl has a distinctive silhouette with a large and rounded head and completely dark eyes, unlike other British brown owls.


Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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