Birds Of Prey

For a long time, owls were thought to be close relatives of birds in the order Falconiformes (the hawk-like birds). The two groups do have a lot in common. Both are hunters with excellent eyesight. They have strong legs and sharp talons for catching prey. They have hooked beaks for killing and eating their prey. The term "birds of prey" is still often used to describe the two groups. In 1985, however, researchers took a careful look at bird DNA. They decided owls are most closely related to birds in the order Caprimulgiformes, or nightjars. Besides the genetic evidence, there are other similarities between these two groups. Both are active at night, their voiceboxes are similar, and their feathers are arranged in the same way.

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