Deadliest Bird From Each State

By Aaron Love 11 months ago

Snowy Owl

Image Source: Reddit
If these owls look familiar to you then you might be a fan of the Harry Potter franchise as this is the species of owl that Hedwig belongs too! The white feathers were originally used as a way to blend in snowy environments although they are now found all over the US. As with most owls they tend to hunt mice and smaller birds and use their insane vision and hearing abilities to hunt out their prey. They have even been known to catch snakes with their talons; I wasn't aware they were quite so vicious!

Barred Owls

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Barred owls can be found spread across the entirety of the eastern states of the US and in some parts of Canada too! They aren't dangerous to us humans, don't worry, but they are some of the most efficient birds when it comes to hunting in the whole of the US. As with all owls their vision is incredible and they use this vision to catch sight of a number of animals that run along the floor of the forest like mice, rats and squirrels and they then swoop down to catch them using their huge talons.

Great Horned Owl

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No, the great horned owl doesn't actually have any horns above their heads (that would be terrifying) but they have some extra feather attachments to their head. They are most regularly found in Alaska although there are populations of them all around the US. It's hard to describe owls as dangerous but the sharp and curved beak of this owl alongside its insane vision means its one of the most deadly (flying) predators that you might come across here in the US. Like most birds, it hunts smaller animals along a forest or swamp floor.

Golden Eagle

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The Golden Eagle is most populated in and around the western states of the US and is one of the most predatory birds in the entire western world. They are also much larger than most other birds on this list with their wingspan regularly reaching around 8 feet wide. As with most of the bird on the list, much of their danger comes from the incredibly large talons they have which are used to capture and kill their prey. They are so dangerous in fact that they have been known to kill much larger animals like deers and even baby bears!

Red-Shouldered Hawk

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The highest population of these red-shouldered hawks within the US is found in California although they tend to be spotted along the eastern coast through down to Mexico. And in comparison to most hawks you might have heard of or seen in the past they are much smaller in size. This doesn't stop them being very dangerous and they have even been known to divebomb humans that get too close to their nest. They're actually one of only a few birds in the US who regularly attack humans, sometimes for no reason!

Red-Tailed Hawk

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The red-tailed hawk, not to be confused with the aforementioned red-shouldered hawk is actually the most common of all hawks to be found within the US and actually round the world. They tend to breed in the northern states but can actually be seen year-round throughout the whole of the US. Similarly to their red-shouldered cousins they have been known to divebomb humans that get too close to their nests and they are some of the fastest birds to have ever been recorded whilst flying!

Bald Eagle

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You're probably most likely to spot this inherently American bird, the bald eagle, around coastal areas thanks to their favorite diet of fish! Crazily they actually don't gain there famous black and white colours until they reach around 5 years old, before this they can actually appear in a whole range of colours like browns and greys! Bald eagles are often portrayed to be quite vicious in pop culture but in reality they are actually quite calm birds and don't sound anything like they are made too in tv and film.

Herring Gull

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Although we usually associate gulls with being annoying more than they are dangerous, they can actually pose quite a risk to humans as much as they can to other animals. It's their beak that makes them quite dangerous as their beak is actually quite sharp! Their natural diet is made up of fish that they catch by swooping to the ocean's surface, although we know that they are often attracted to what it is we're trying to eat instead. They can be incredibly annoying and some people have suffered some talon damage as a result of them trying to protect their food!

Swans

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As with gulls, you probably don't associate swans with being particularly dangerous, they're better known for being quite glamorous sea birds (and their long flexible neck). However when they feel as though they're under threat they can actually become quite hostile towards humans and other animals! They get particularly angry when you come too close to their offspring or their eggs. Although they don't have teeth their beaks can be quite snappy and they will chase you down for hundreds of meters to ensure you steer clear.

Great Northern Loon

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The Great Northern Loon are commonly found in Alaska alongside other northern states in the US (and Canada). You might think that because of their appearances they're just as tame as ducks but they are actually a lot more dangerous. They use their pointed beak to stab in to the water to catch animals like fish and then they swallow them without chewing! Crazily they have also been known to attack humans that are in and around their environment, especially if they're swimming around their young.

Peregrine Falcon

Image Source: Reddit
Would you believe that the Peregrine Falcon is actually known to be the fastest animal on earth!? This is obviously a great tool when it comes to hunting their prey and so therefore they are one of the most dangerous birds in the US. When you add the fact that there talons are razor-sharp it's not hard to imagine how dangerous these birds can be towards the smaller birds they eat. It's impossible to narrow down these birds to a specific state however as they can be found from all over the place in the US.

Ospreys

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Although Osprey's are often confused with hawks they are actually a part of their own bird family! Throughout the year, you're most likely to spot these birds living around the coastal states as, like the bald eagles the majority of their diet is made up of fish! As you can see from the image above, they have sharp talons that they use when dive bombing in to the ocean to catch and kill their prey. You can even lure these animals to live around you as they like to grow their young using premade structures around water!

Broad-Winged Hawk

Image Source: Reddit
Unlike most of the hawks on this list, the broad-winged hawk is actually quite a stocky bird; this is perfect for them in their natural environment, the forests. You'll typically only see these birds on the eastern side of the US although during the winter they spend more time in South America where it's much warmer! And unlike most of the other hawks, these birds tend to work as groups in order to catch their food instead of working alone. You'll have a hard time spotting one of these guys though as they like to hide in the forests.

Cassowary

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Yes, cassowaries are not residents of the US as such but in recent year there have been recorded human deaths in Florida as a result of a cassowary attack. They are typically found in and around Australia and are known to be, most likely, the most dangerous bird to live on the entire planet. Despite them having caused some human deaths they actually aren't known to be particularly aggressive and only attack humans when they feel threatened. When they do need to attack though they are very dangerous thanks to their huge claws.

Harris's Hawk

Image Source: Reddit
All hawks are obviously incredible fliers, and the Harris hawk is no exception, despite its smaller stature in comparison with other hawks. What makes the Harris Hawk so dangerous however is that they don't hunt on their own like traditional hawks but instead they like to hunt in packs sometimes chasing just one smaller animal like a mouse. They all have their own roles as part of the group though, working like a well oiled team to first force the animal from its habitat and then having to chase them.

American Kestrel

Image Source: Reddit
Although these birds are actually the same size as a regular robin, they are actually some of the best hunters within the US. Unlike most birds which pluck their prey from the forest floor or the ocean's surface, these birds are actually incredibly skilled. They actually catch other birds (usually sparrows) from within the air whilst they're also flying! You'll be able to spot these birds all the way around the US although in the summer months they tend to head further north towards the border with Canada.

Ostrich

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You don't usually associate ostriches as being American animals but there are hundreds of them around the US mostly in ostrich farms found in places like Colorado and Texas. Ostrich meat has become a popular food item in recent years but they are definitely more famous for their bizzare looks and aggressive nature. They are able to run at insane speeds and are incredibly dangerous towards anything they find threatening, it has even been suggested that they can kick with enough power to kill a lion.

Prairie Falcon

Image Source: Reddit
The Prairie Falcon is often spotted flying and roaming around the western states of the US, especially in mile-long grasslands and farms. People often get these birds and their cousins, the Peregrine Falcon confused due to the fact they look almost exactly the same. They aren't particularly dangerous and they don't have bizarre catching techniques! HOWEVER, they have been observed playing with one another, potentially trying to build up there skills by dropping cowpats from the sky and then trying to catch them before they hit the floor.

Harpy Eagle

Image Source: Reddit
The harpy eagle really does look like an evil creature doesn't it! Although they are most commonly associated with South America (in particularly the Amazon) they have been infrequently spotted more north, in and around Mexico and the most southern (central) US states. These are incredibly dangerous birds and are able to crush the bones of their prey thanks to the pressure they can push through their claws. They have attacked humans in the past (usually children) even sometimes being seen trying to catch monkeys.

Loggerhead Shrikes

Image Source: Reddit
Don't be tricked by the tiny size of these little birds, they are actually one of the smallest species of birds of prey within the US. They make up for their small size by finding an absolutely brutal way to kill their prey. The catch smaller animals like rodents (or even smaller birds) and then impale them on sharp tree branches or even barbed wire fences! This brutal death then keeps their food in place whilst they eat and hunt for more food. Who knew something so small could be so vicious when it came to food.

Petrels

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Petrels aren't often seen on land as they are known to be seabirds and can often be spotted in and around the oceans surrounding the US. They are extremely dangerous towards sea creatures like seals as they have been known to dive bomb them and manage to kill them by piercing them with their beaks. On the rare occasion that they are around humans they have also been known to attack. One of their craziest mechanisms is they produce a bile which they spit out their mouth to harm their prey! Disgusting.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Image Source: Reddit
These are one of the smallest birds of prey you can find within the United States, but all the while one of the most acrobatic at the same time! Although they can be found throughout the entirety of the US they are most commonly seen around the north east/west. Typically you'll probably spot these little birds around woodland areas and they actually tend to feast on songbirds! They ambush their prey by following them and then pouncing at high speeds. I suppose the songbirds can get a little annoying after a while so maybe they just get sick!

Cooper's Hawk

Image Source: Reddit
Much like many of the birds to feature on this list, the Cooper's hawk is native to the entirety of the US so can be spotted from each state at some point. Just like the sharp-shinned hawks they like to feast on songbirds but they are also more frequently seen eating in regular bird feeders in your back garden! They pretty much look the same as them too, although they are a little larger and they also have these quite scary looking red eyes! Have you spotted any of these guys in your back garden before?

Ferruginous Hawk

Image Source: Reddit
As you might have noticed, Hawk's make up much of the dangerous birds of prey around the US, and these ferruginous hawks are some of the largest birds of prey in the country. They are most commonly found within the midwestern states and actually don't tend to eat as much as most other species of hawk. Another trait this bird has that's different to other hawks is that they don't just swoop on their prey, instead they like to run and hop along the floor in order to catch their prey which is usually small rodents!

Swainson's Hawk

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Swainson Hawks are another bird of prey found mostly within the western states of the US and they aren't particularly hard to find. They often spend time perched right out in the open. They aren't here all year around though, as when it comes to September they begin migrating south to the warmer temperatures of Argentina. In a surprise turn of events, they often spend time with a number of other birds (including the Broad-winged Hawks and Turkey Vultures which also feature on this list) all migrating together.

Eastern Screech Owl

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One of the weirdest features about these screech owls is that they actually have no neck (which can be quite creepy when you think about it). They come in a variety of colours and as their name might suggest you'll only find these short stocky guys across the east of the US. Although they tend to spend most of their time in wooded areas they actually aren't afraid of flying out in to the open every now and then. People have spotted them in the busiest (and loudest) of places including around busy highways.

Western Screech Owl

Image Source: Reddit
I bet you'll never guess where abouts these birds might be found within the US! I hope you guessed the West or we might have an issue! The western screech owl looks almost exactly the same as their eastern cousin, although they are known to grow slightly larger. Just like the eastern screech owl, you're more likely to spot them in wooded areas or farms; although they aren't known to hide. One thing they are known to do differently however, is to hunt. They like to catch fish (particularly trout) from rivers and lakes.

Burrowing Owl

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Burrowing owls are one of the smallest and lightest varieties of owls found in the US but that doesn't mean they can't look after and protect for themselves. They look a little weirder than other owls too, with long legs that have evolved due to the longer periods of time they spend on the ground. They are most found in the south-west of the US and hide in underground dens that they like to fill with their food for the future. Some dens have been found to be completely full with hundreds of mice that the burrowing owls have caught!

Turkey Vulture

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There are a wide range of vultures which are regularly spotted in the US but the Turkey Vulture is by far the most common. You can probably see why they get their name too! Typically you'll find these big guys flying solo throughout the entirety of the southern states. As you probably already know, they spend much of their time trying to find already dead meat so they wait by the roadside hoping for some roadkill to become available. One disgusting thing they often do in order to escape any predators is throw up the food in their stomachs to lower their weight!

Black Vulture

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Black Vultures are known to be much more dangerous than other vulture variants as they can also kill other animals instead of just waiting for something to become available to them. Thanks to their size as well, they are able to hunt animals much larger than themselves, even including some livestock like lambs and calves! Similarly to the Turkey Vultures they are mostly spotted around the southern states and they still like to spend time in and around the roadside foraging food they can get their beaks on.

The deadliest birds from around the world: Southern Caracara

image source: en.wikipedia.org
This bird is found in South America, and is very similar in appearance to a hawk, with especially sharp talons and beak that make it a particularly dangerous bird of prey. Though it behaves a lot like a vulture, it's actually considered a tropical bird. You can usually recognize it by its very tall orange legs, and you might also spot it walking on the ground just as much as flying.

New Zealand Falcon

image source: en.wikipedia.org
This bird may not look as ferocious as some of the birds of prey on this list, but it's still considered one to watch out for in New Zealand. It's recognizable for its very long and pointed wings, as well as its cream and brown feather coloring. The females of this species are actually bigger than the males, and they can be found both in forest locations as well as open grass or farmland.

Lappet-Faced Vulture

image source: en.wikipedia.org
As far as the many varieties of vultures are concerned, this has to be one of the biggest and most intimidating. This vulture is known for its more square-shaped head and its very hefty beak that's usually blue and yellow in color. The full-grown adults of this bird will have a chest streaked with brown and white feathers. If you see one in flight, you'll notice a huge wingspan.

African Fish Eagle

image source: en.wikipedia.org
You can usually spot this bird lurking very close to water, as it likes to perch near lakes, rivers or any other bodies of water, looking for its prey. You can spot it based on its striking white feathers paired with chestnut brown, and this graceful bird is able to drive into shallow water and catch fish with ease, thanks to those huge (and dangerous) talons. Its call is also one of the most distinctive bird sounds!

Crested Serpent Eagle

 
image source: ebird.com
This is one of the more buff-looking eagles from around the world, with a neck and head that merges into one thanks to the hefty brown feathers. When this bird feels threatened, it can even raise the feathers around the head to look fiercer and more intimidating. When in flight, you'll be able to see (if you dare to get close enough) a frame of white feathers along its wings which are then bordered in black.

Palm-Nut Vulture

image source: en.wikipedia.org
This has to be one of the smallest types of vulture in the world, but size is no guarantee of power, and you definitely don't want to get on the wrong side of this bird of prey. This vulture can easily be recognized with its very distinctive look, and white feathers. In flight, its wings will be paddled-shaped, and you can find them all over the place, including open hot savannas, or in cooler woodland.

Black Kite

image source: en.wikipedia.org
The black kite bird might look similar to many other types of bird, but it's a more skilled bird of prey than a lot of others. It's capable of hunting on its own, or it may choose to be part of a flock if the feeding potential is good! Its covered in mostly brown-black feathers, and its strong wings make it a very capable flier, capable of changing direction at rapid speed to catch its prey.

Egyptian Vulture

image source: birdfact.com
There are many types of vulture out there that are a little strange looking, but this one probably takes the gold medal for a vulture looking different. The Egyptian vulture is very unique, with its framed feathered head and pale feathers. Its beak is very narrow with a black tip, and not something you want to get on the wrong side of. They'll usually be found in open areas, like on cliffsides.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

image source: en.wikipedia.org
The Eurasian Sparrowhawk is a little nondescript in appearance, but it has huge, rounded wings that make it an excellent flier, as well as allowing it to reach very fast speeds for going after small and quick prey. You can find them mostly in forests and woodland, but these birds have also been known to visit the everyday garden when they're hungry to hunt out their prey.

Collared Sparrowhawk

image source: ebird.com
This bird may look delicate, but it's among one of the deadliest birds of prey. One of the most striking features of this bird is the soft looking feather display on its chest. If you managed to get closer to one, you'd be able to recognize this species by its rather blank, deadly-looking stare and its very tall and skinny legs. This bird likes to hide more than it likes to fly out in the open.

Philippine Eagle

image source: theperegrinefund.com
This species of eagle is extremely rare, but if you did happen to see one, you'd most likely recognize it for that unique mane of feathers around its head in pointed brown and cream feathers. It's actually one of the largest eagles in the world, making it a formidable predator, and it's also the national bird of the Philippines - as its name rightly suggests! Its feet and sharp claws are particularly dangerous.

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

image source: en.wikipedia.org
Another eagle you'll want to avoid on this list is one that looks very different to the Philippine one - and that's the buff and stocky wedge-tailed eagle. This eagle usually has very dark feathers, from dark brown to pure black, and has a huge beak it uses for hunting. Because the eagle is so big and dark, it doesn't have much look not being spotted, and it can usually be found feeding on roadkill.

Black Eagle

image source: en.wikipedia.org
Another dark-colored eagle from around the world is the aptly named Black Eagle, which has a very intimidating death stare with black beady eyes around a huge curved beak. These birds can usually be found in mountain or hill regions with plenty of tree cover. Their wings are quite unique in that their huge wingspan also shows off 'fingers' at the tips of the feathers.

Cinereous Vulture

image source: en.wikipedia.org
This is definitely the kind of thing you think of when someone says vulture - this huge, brown-feathered monstrosity is a dangerous bird of prey around the world, and in flight, it can easily be spotted against a clear sky for its dark mass. Its wings come out quite flat, making it perfect for soaring over its prey, and if there's a carcass to be had, this one will beat all the other vultures to the punch.

Steppe Eagle

image source: ebird.com
A particularly large eagle , this one can be recognized by the brown feathers and huge yellow and black beak, similar to many other eagles around the world. The wingtips are distinctive for having a 'splayed-fingers' look with their feathers, and they can be found across different terrain, like grassland or desert. They can also often join the vulture's habit in feeding off carcasses.

Griffon Eagle

image source: en.wikipedia.org
Another intimidating vulture you don't want to see up close and personal is this one, with lighter-colored brown feathers and a white head with a sharp, curved beak. You also want to watch out for those sharp claws on the end of thin, pale legs. They can usually be found on cliff edges as part of a colony, or might be flying in a flock to scout out a carcass or two - or some live prey to catch.

White-Tailed Sea Eagle

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This is a massive raptor-like bird that can be seen soaring over the ocean waves looking for prey to feed on. Its most distinctive feature is what it's named after: its white tail. They aren't seen very often in general, and mainly only close to water if you're lucky enough to spot one (or unlucky if you're its chosen prey). You can tell this eagle from others due to its completely flat wingspan when in flight (rather than curved up, like other eagles).

Zone-Tailed Hawk

image source: en.wikipedia.org
The zone-tailed hawk looks intimidating with its dark black feathers and beady eyes, and that's because it is. It has a sharp beak you'll want to watch out for, and it's also known for moving from side to side when it's in flight, which could be so it's ready to lunge in any direction when it spots prey. It's rare to see this bird sitting still, as it's mostly seen soaring the skies getting stuff done!

Northern Harrier

image source: ebird.com
This hawk may be medium in size compared to some other huge hawks, but it's nonetheless a skilled bird of prey. It has a very long and thin shaped tail, as well as wings that are also on the thin side - but all this means is that it can move faster and more swiftly when hunting for prey. It usually likes to target rodents and will be found flying over open fields where they're most likely to be.

Hook-Billed Kite

image source: en.wikipedia.org
The hook-billed kite is largely found in tropical regions of America, and it has a distinctive black and white striped tail pattern that can be seen from underneath. It also has a very large and fierce bill that hooks over to better catch and keep its prey. Their bird call can be something more similar to an ominous cackle - but least they'll give you that warning before they dive!