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An avivore is a specialized predator of birds, with birds making up a large proportion of its diet. Such bird-eating animals come from a range of groups.


Birds that are specialized predators of birds include certain accipiters and falcons. General features of avian avivores include a skull form which is well adapted for grasping and crushing with the beak, although not especially well structured for neck twisting motions.[1] Bird-eating raptors also tend to show greater sexual dimorphism than other raptors, with the females being larger than the males.[2]

Some avian avivores such as the shikra, besra, Eurasian sparrowhawk, and sharp-shinned hawk catch their prey by flying from cover in a tree or bush, taking their prey unawares. In contrast, the lanner falcon hunts in open country taking birds by horizontal pursuit. The aplomado falcon will use both ambush and more extended flights.[3] The peregrine falcon dives on flying birds from a great height at speeds that can exceed 300 km/h.

The extinct Haast's eagle of New Zealand preyed on the large flightless bird species of the region such as the moa.


A number of mammal species are specialized predators of birds. The caracal, a medium sized cat, is known for its leaping ability which it uses to catch birds, sometimes two at a time. The greater noctule bat is believed to predate small migrating birds on the wing in the skies of southern Europe.


The egg-eating snake specializes in eating birds eggs, swallowing them whole and then breaking them using a protrusion from its spine.


The fanged frog Limnonectes megastomias preys on birds and insects.[4]


The Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) was named by explorers who saw it eating a humming bird


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Northern Aplomado Falcon". Pima.gov. 1986-03-27. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  4. ^ September 25, 2009, 8:32 AM (2009-09-25). "Bird-Eating Fanged Frog Found in Thailand". CBS News. Retrieved 2013-07-27.