Temporal range: Eocene - Recent
46 mya – present
|Golden eagle about to land|
They are a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills (beaks). They vary accordig to their diet. They feed on prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals. Some feed on carrion and a few feed on fruit. The Accipitridae have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found on all the world's continents (except Antarctica) and a number of oceanic island groups. Some species are migratory.
Many well-known birds, such as hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures are included in this group. The osprey is usually placed in a separate family (Pandionidae), as is the secretary bird. The New World vultures are now usually a separate family or order.