One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A bird of prey, e.g. an eagle or hawk.
- ‘It also provides breathing room for raptors such as prairie falcons, golden eagles, and red-tailed hawks.’
- ‘During a mass emergence of periodical cicadas, almost any animal, from raccoons to raptors, will prey on them.’
- ‘Use of these pesticides has declined sharply, though they continue to be used in many countries where raptors or their prey spend the winter.’
- ‘The region is a ecological funnel through which millions of waterfowl, raptors and neotropical birds pass each year.’
- ‘They have also been known to steal prey from other raptors and to eat fresh carrion.’
- ‘The Crested Serpent Eagle and the Fishing Eagle are among the raptors that top off the avian hierarchy.’
- ‘They may steal prey from other raptors, and have been known to eat carrion as long as it has not been dead too long.’
- ‘Hawks and other raptors may dominate discussion in the fall, but this winter, birders are talking about owls.’
- ‘Similarly shaped raptors, such as peregrine falcons and goshawks, are adept at the agile pursuit and rapid capture of birds in flight.’
- ‘Pilgrim Heights in Truro offers opportunities for another type of bird watching - that of migrating hawks and other raptors.’
- ‘It was an unfamiliar raptor, lacking the obvious field marks of the usual hawks.’
- ‘Most of the specimens were originally the prey of raptors and carnivores.’
- ‘One of the best things that people can do, Rosenfield adds, is simply feed the birds on which the raptors prey.’
- ‘Bird watcher Al Grass says waterfowl, raptors and songbirds can be spotted at Maplewood Flats because it is a critical wintering habitat for many species of birds.’
- ‘We didn't see it, but we caught a glimpse of another one of our favorite raptors, the Northern Harrier.’
- ‘I responded to Dave that mobbing behavior, when smaller birds team up to harry a larger one, is common in many bird species, from corvids to raptors to songbirds.’
- ‘As raptors like hawks and owls prey on the rodents, they risk being hit by a car.’
- ‘And far from being a nasty raptor, the barn owl is ecologically important for natural rodent control.’
- ‘Crows can be aggressive toward other birds, mobbing ravens or raptors in flight.’
- ‘The surrounding area is a haven for shorebirds, raptors, herons, deer, coyotes, and other wildlife.’
2informal A dromaeosaurid dinosaur, especially a velociraptor or utahraptor.
- ‘Some of the dinos seen are the brontosaurus, vicious raptors, and tyrannosaurus rex.’
- ‘Dinosaurs great and small would have been eating the vegetation - or each other - including the raptors.’
- ‘The first room in the Creation Museum will show paleontologists digging up a dinosaur raptor.’
- ‘No creature was spared, from the largest sauropod to the smallest raptor.’
Late Middle English: from Latin, literally ‘plunderer’, from rapt- ‘seized’, from the verb rapere.
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