So, what's a raptor?
Although many people think raptors are flying dinosaurs - and indeed they were very distant relatives - modern day raptors are collectively known as ‘birds of prey’ - they love to hunt down a juicy piece of meat for dinner just as much as we do!
Did you know the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal in the world? Its hunting dive has been clocked at over 300 km per hour!
New Zealand is home to several magnificent raptors, including morepork, the harrier hawk you see gliding our rural farmlands and the falcon on our twenty dollar note-known for its hunting prowess and aggressive warrior-like protection of its nest. The world's largest ever raptor was our own Haast’s Eagle. It had a massive 3m wingspan and hunted the mighty moa.
For more information on New Zealand raptors visit www.wingspan.co.nz our National Bird of Prey Centre. They have a fantastic educational and breeding centre situated in Rotorua. You can even take a falcon for a hunting flight and see them in action.
New Zealand Falcon (Karearea) © Image courtesy of Wingspan.co.nz