Behavior And Reproduction

Raptors have simple calls that are often high-pitched and may sound something like "keer-keer." Pairs often call to each other to say, "I'm here—where are you?" At migration time, huge flocks of raptors journey north and south together. Hawks that breed in northern areas make up the biggest flocks, but some falcons also make long migration trips.

Most raptor pairs live by themselves. They have to protect large territories in order to find enough food. But some of the Old World vultures and smaller falcons nest and feed together. Most falcons make simple nests on the ground, but some hawks and eagles build large nesting platforms that can be several feet high. Usually, the males hunt for food while the females sit on the nest. The chicks of the largest raptors stay in the nest for several months after hatching. Most of the larger raptors raise only one chick a year, and some do not breed every year.

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