By: Mike Roux

( Missouri Birds of Prey )

The rural areas of Missouri are called home by hundreds of wild animals and birds.  Every species has its own niche in the food chain.  Some are vegetarians while others depend upon their hunting skills to fill their bellies and the bellies of their hungry young.

     Today I would like to take a closer look at some of the winged predators that inhabit our skies.  I will not touch on nearly all of them, but I will attempt to cover the most commonly seen birds of prey in our region.  My reference source for most of the biologically technical information is “The Field Guide To Birds Of North America”.

The Bald Eagle: Even though our area is only a wintering zone for this majestic bird, its presence is significant.  Adults are easily identified by their white head and tail, and also their huge yellow bill.  Yearling birds are mostly dark and are often confused with the Golden Eagle.  The Bald Eagle also has a pro-portionately larger head and bill along with a longer tail.  The immature Bald Eagle is also often mistaken for a Turkey Vulture.  The flat-winged soar of the eagle, however, differs from the “V” winged soar of the vulture.

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal