Raptors (Accipitridae)
Members of this family vary greatly in size, from small Sparrowhawks to enormous Vultures. They are all large-winged birds that soar easily. They have strong legs with large, powerful talons for grabbing prey, and strongly hooked beaks for tearing it apart. While some species are highly opportunistic in their feeding habits, others are very specialised. Most species are solitary breeders. Overall, Europe's raptors suffered serious declines during the 20th century due to persecution and loss of habitat.
There are 217 species of eagles, buzzards, kites, hawks and vultures worldwide. Twenty-seven species breed in Europe.
Species seen but not photographed:
  • Australasian Harrier: New Zealand (November 2001)
  • Black Kite: France (July 2018)
  • Black-winged Kite: Spain (November 2018)
  • Booted Eagle: Spain (November 2016)
  • Egyptian Vulture: Fuerteventura (March 2018)
  • Golden Eagle: Outer Hebrides (May 2019)
  • Hen Harrier: Outer Hebrides (May 2019)
  • Honey Buzzard: Bulgaria (July 2015)
  • Lesser Spotted Eagle: Bulgaria (June 2014)
  • Long-legged Buzzard: Spain (November 2016)
  • Montagu's Harrier: Bulgaria (June 2014)
  • Rough-legged Buzzard: Scotland (May 2019)
  • Short-toed Eagle: France (July 2018)
  • White-tailed Eagle: Scotland (May 2019)