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Cuckoo-hawks, Kites, Honey-buzzards

Introduction

 

These birds of prey belong to the huge family Accipitridae, and form the first natural group within this family.  
Three subgroups are recognized, according to the habits or the physical criterions of each species.

Most of these raptors are known to have scavenging or insectivorous habits, which probably are their primitive traits. But from this behaviour, several more predatory raptors have evolved towards other form of feeding, by catching and killing living preys, other birds or mammals. 

The three subgroups are:

1st subgroup:
Aviceda – Pernis – Henicopernis – Leptodon – Elanoides – Chondrohierax – Macheiramphus

2d subgroup:
Gampsonyx – Chelictinia – Elanus

3d subgroup divided into 3 parts:

Rostrhamus – Harpagus – Icitnia  (New World)

Milvus – Haliastur  (Old World)

Lophoictinia – Hamirostra  (Australasia)