ACCIPITRIFORMES contains most of the raptors in the World, just excluding the Falcons and Owls. This order is defined by species which are specialist carnivores. With strong bills and talons a successfull attack kills the prey at first stroke. Tactics differ from surprise grounstrokes to mid air capture, working as a group or solitary. In this group the strongest of all birds are represented, the Harpy Eagle of South America and its contestant for the title, the Philippine Eagle. The fastest birds, however, are in their counter group, the FALCONIFORMES. Falcons are made for mid air attacks based on pure speed. Their wings are long and pointy making the Peregrine Falcon the the fastest creature alive. Some are able to a virtually stand still in mid air, like the Kestrel pictured in this topic image. The falcons have an extra so- called "tooth" to their bill. This is a distinguishing feature compared to all other raptors. The STRIGIFORMES are the elusive raptors, the night hunters. Their head shaped as a sound capturing device, these birds are highly specialized to hunt on sound. Of all hunting families these are probably the most resident, they hardly ever leave the vicinity of their birth- or breeding grounds.
CICONIIFORMES contain large, long-legged and waterbound hunters. These birds are very versatile, accustoming to human settlement quickly. In this order the frantic African Hamerkop is one of kind, building the biggest nest of all birds and doing so even outside the breeding season. All birds in this family are hunters, mainly fish, amphibians and reptiles. Their tactic is stand-still and strike with their long sharp beaks. Allthough these species are tightly waterbound, none are capable of swimming, they rely on their long legs and reflexes to catch prey. The ANSERIFORMES are the swimming, dabbling and diving waterbirds. These birds, especially the diving ducks, are hardly capable of walking on ground. Some even can't fly. These birds are amongst humans favorite in collections or on the menu. The larger geese are highly migratory, prefering far off locations to breed in colonies. The biggest in this order are the swans, the Mute Swan being the biggest bird still capable of flying. The last of the featured water bound species form the PROCELLARIIFORMES, which solely rely on living on water. Most of the species contained here are pelagic, meaning only leaving the water surface if it is absolutely necessary. A large portion of these birds live in burrows usually under rocks. This trait brought many on the brink of extinction as man has introduced rats, cats and snakes on their breeding grounds, far offshore rock islands. The biggest birds in terms of wingspan are also member of this order, the magnificent albatrosses. A family who suffered greatly from fishing humans and their long fishing nets. It is estimated that in a few decades many albatros species might be extinct, their slow birth rate and slow breeding maturity contribute to this disturbing notion.
In this section, up to this date, the last orders are of a more elusive nature. The TROGONIFORMES are colorful, mainly New World birds favoring rainforst. These insectivore colorful birds are hardly ever really active but for feeding. They like perching in the subcanopy and quietly watch actiity go by. their taxonomy has been much debated, but now settled in their own order with the quetzals as their only companion. Little is known about their habits, as opposed to the last group featured here, the TINAMIFORMES. These mostly ground dwelling birds have an elaborate mating system, males have more females and females have more males. The sole caretaker for the young is the male. These are ancient birds with a relation tot ratites, he oldest of birds including the ostrich.