Classification The order of Accipitriformes includes most of the diurnal birds of prey. For a long time, the majority view has been to include them with the falcons in the Falconiforme order, but DNA studies have indicated that falcons are not closely related to the Accipitriformes, being instead related to parrots and passerines. For that reason, the Accipitriforme order was individualized. It comprises the Cathartidae (New World vultures), the Sagittariidae (Secretarybird), the Pandionidae (Ospreys) and the Accipitridae. The latter includes 251 species which have been grouped into the following 8 subfamilies by J Boyd.

Almost all Accipitriformes are carnivorous, hunting by sight during the day or at twilight. They are exceptionally long-lived, and most have low reproductive rates.The young have a long, very fast-growing fledgling stage, followed by 3–8 weeks of nest care after first flight, and 1 to 3 years as sexually immature adults. The sexes have conspicuously different sizes and sometimes a female is more than twice as heavy as her mate.


Photos of accipitridae

Hackett SJ et al (2008): Phylogenomic Study of Birds