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Bird of prey

Birds of prey or raptors include species of bird that hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. Additionally, they have keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance or during flight, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, powerful, curved beaks for tearing flesh; the term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapio, meaning to take by force. In addition to hunting live prey, most eat carrion, at least and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source. Although the term bird of prey could theoretically be taken to include all birds that consume animals, ornithologists use the narrower definition followed in this page. Examples of animal-eating birds not encompassed by the ornithological definition include storks, gulls, penguins and shrikes, as well as the many songbirds that are insectivorous; the common names for various birds of prey are based on structure, but many of the traditional names do not reflect the evolutionary relationships between the groups.

Eagles tend to be large birds with massive feet. Booted eagles have legs and feet feathered to the toes and build large stick nests; the bald eagle has become a symbol for the United States. Ospreys, a single species found worldwide that specializes in catching fish and builds large stick nests. Kites have long wings and weak legs, they spend much of their time soaring. They will take live vertebrate prey, but feed on insects or carrion; the true hawks are medium-sized birds of prey that belong to the genus Accipiter. They are woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch, they have long tails for tight steering. Buzzards are medium-large raptors with robust bodies and broad wings, or, any bird of the genus Buteo. Harriers are slender hawk-like birds with long tails and long thin legs. Most use a combination of keen eyesight and hearing to hunt small vertebrates, gliding on their long broad wings and circling low over grasslands and marshes. Vultures are carrion-eating raptors of two distinct biological families: the Accipitridae, which occurs only in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Members of both groups have heads either or devoid of feathers. Falcons are medium-size birds of prey with long pointed wings, they belong to the Falconidae family, rather than the Accipitridae. Many are swift flyers. Caracaras are a distinct subgroup of the Falconidae unique to the New World, most common in the Neotropics – their broad wings, naked faces and appetites of a generalist suggest some level of convergence with either the Buteos or the vulturine birds, or both. Owls are variable-sized night-specialized hunting birds, they fly silently due to their special feather structure that reduces turbulence. They have acute hearing. Many of these English language group names referred to particular species encountered in Britain; as English-speaking people travelled further, the familiar names were applied to new birds with similar characteristics. Names that have generalised this way include: kite, sparrow-hawk or sparhawk, kestrel, harrier, buzzard; some names have not generalised, refer to single species: merlin, osprey.

The taxonomy of Carl Linnaeus grouped birds into orders and species, with no formal ranks between genus and order. He placed all birds of prey into a single order, subdividing this into four genera: Vultur, Falco and Lanius; this approach was followed by subsequent authors such as Gmelin and Turnton. Louis Pierre Veillot used additional ranks: order, family, species. Birds of prey were divided into nocturnal tribes, thus Veillot's families were similar to the Linnaean genera, with the difference that shrikes were no longer included amongst the birds of prey. In addition to the original Vultur and Falco, Veillot adopted four genera from Savigny: Phene, Haliæetus and Elanus, he introduced five new genera of vultures and eleven new genera of accipitrines. The order Accipitriformes is believed to have originated 44 million years ago when it split from the common ancestor of the secretarybird and the accipitrid species; the phylogeny of Accipitriformes is difficult to unravel. Widespread paraphylies were observed in many phylogenetic studies.

More recent and detailed studies show similar results. However, according to the findings of a 2014 study, the sister relationship between larger clades of Accipitriformes was well supported; the diurnal birds of prey are formally classified into five families of two orders. Accipitridae: hawks, buzzards, kites

Abertillery (UK Parliament constituency)

Abertillery was a county constituency centred on the town of Abertillery in Monmouthshire. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system of election. From 1950 up to 1970, it was the safest Labour seat in the United Kingdom; the constituency was created for the 1918 general election, abolished for the 1983 general election. The constituency consisted of the urban districts of Abercarn and Nantyglo and Blaina. General Election 1939/40: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected.

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy. The ship is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy, she is named after general Charles de Gaulle. The ship carries a complement of Dassault Rafale M and E‑2C Hawkeye aircraft, EC725 Caracal and AS532 Cougar helicopters for combat search and rescue, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles, she is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses two 75 m C13‑3 steam catapults of a shorter version of the catapult system installed on the U. S. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, one catapult at the bow and one across the front of the landing area; as of May 2019, Charles de Gaulle is the only non-American carrier-vessel that has a catapult launch system, which has allowed for operation of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and C-2 Greyhounds of the US Navy. The carrier replaced Foch, a conventionally powered aircraft carrier, in 2001. Clemenceau and Foch were completed in 1963 respectively.

The hull was laid down in April 1989 at the DCNS Brest naval shipyard. The carrier was launched in May 1994 and at 42,000 tonnes was the largest warship launched in Western Europe since HMS Ark Royal in 1950, she was to be named Richelieu in 1986 by the French president at the time, François Mitterrand, after the famous French statesman Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu. On 18 May 1987, the name of the ship was changed to Charles de Gaulle by the Gaullist Prime Minister at the time, Jacques Chirac. Construction fell behind schedule as the project was starved of funding, worsened by the economic recession in the early 1990s. Total costs for the vessel would top €3 billion. Work on the ship was suspended altogether on four occasions: 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995; the ship was commissioned on 18 May 2001, five years behind the projected deadline. In 1993, it was alleged by The Guardian that a group of engineers inspecting the vessel during her construction were British Secret Intelligence Service operatives, believed to have been learning the method of shielding the nuclear reactors, amongst other technical details.

However, the newspaper published a denial by both the British government and the Direction de la surveillance du territoire that there had been any incident. Charles de Gaulle entered sea trials in 1999; these identified the need to extend the flight deck to safely operate the E-2C Hawkeye. This operation sparked negative publicity, however, as the same tests had been conducted on both Foch and Clemenceau when the F‑8E Crusader fighter had been introduced; the 5 million francs for the extension was 0.025% of the total budget for the Charles de Gaulle project. On 28 February 2000, a nuclear reactor trial triggered the combustion of additional isolation elements, producing a smoke incident; the ship left Toulon for her fourteenth and final sea trial on 24 October 2000. During the night of 9–10 November, in the Western Atlantic while en route toward Norfolk, the port propeller broke, the ship had to return to Toulon to have a replacement fitted; the investigations that followed showed similar structural faults in the other propeller and in the spare propellers: bubbles in the one-piece copper-aluminium alloy propellers near the centre.

Although the supplier, Atlantic Industrie, was not believed to have intentionally been at fault, it was blamed for poor-quality construction. A few hours after the French defense minister ordered an investigation on quality management, a fire destroyed the archives of the supplier; as a temporary solution, the less advanced spare propellers of Clemenceau and Foch were used, limiting the maximum speed to 24 knots instead of the contractual 27 knots. On 5 March 2001, Charles de Gaulle went back to sea with two older propellers and sailed at 25.2 knots on her trials. Between July and October, she had to be refitted once more due to abnormal noises, as loud as 100 dB, near the starboard propeller, which had rendered the aft part of the ship uninhabitable. On 16 September 2001 the French press reported higher than acceptable radioactivity levels aboard Charles de Gaulle, thought to be caused by a faulty isolation element, it was discovered that the radioactivity levels matched the design, but that the regulations concerning acceptable radioactivity levels had changed.

While the United States was preparing its response to the September 11 attacks in the form of Operation Enduring Freedom, French media complained about the lack of deployable French military power. At the same time, the Defence Commission reported the maintenance of the Fleet to be substandard. In this context, Charles de Gaulle under repairs, was again an object of criticism, with former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing describing it as a "half-aircraft-carrier" and requesting launching of the second carrier vessel in order to guarantee an availability rate of 100%. On 11 October 2001, the frigate Cassard, four AWACS aircraft and Charles de Gaulle were involved in a successful trial of the Link 16 high-bandwidth secure data network; the network allows real-time monitoring of the airspace from the South of England to the Mediterranean Sea. The collected data were transmitted in real time to the frigate Jean Bart through the older MIL-STD-6011 system. On 21 November 2001, France decided to send Charles de Gaulle to the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom against Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Task Force 473, with 2,900 men under the command of Contre-Amiral François Cluzel, sailed on 1 December 2001. The task force