Order Falconiformes

At one point the order Falconiformes actually consisted of all the diurnal raptor families: Falconidae (falcons and caracaras), the Cathartidae (New World vultures & condors), Sagittariidae (secretarybird), Pandionidae (ospreys), and Accipitridae (hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, & Old World Vultures).

Currently it consists of a single family: Falconidae which is made up of the falcons and caracaras.

Crested Caracara

The New World vultures and condors are in their own order: Cathartiformes; and the other three families (Sagittariidae, Pandionidae, and Acciptridae) are in the order Acciptriformes.

Though the three orders are usually grouped together in bird books for the diurnal raptors, but based on genomic data are different groups.

The order Falconiformes is made up of a single family, numerous genera, and about sixty-six species. The only continent they are absent from is Antarctica, and they have a wide range of habitat going from the deserts, to the tundra, to grasslands, wetlands, and forests.

Their diets are as varied as their habitats, members of this group eat insects, other birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and even carrion. Yes–there is a member outside the vulture group that eats dead meat as well.

Photography goals for this order include trying to get a picture of a member on every continent, and some specific goals for the US include getting a picture of a kestrel, merlin, and peregrine falcon. I would also like to possibly get a picture of some of the young around a nest (and I’m wouldn’t be picky about the species).

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/falconiformes and https://nhpbs.org/wild/falconiformes.asp