Sky Hunters: Discovering Birds of Prey


This flexible online course offers a broad introduction to the thrilling world of raptors.

Join us as we explore the anatomy and physiology of birds of prey, and see how every aspect of their design is geared towards being formidable hunters.

We will also gain insights into raptor behaviour patterns in the wild, follow their life cycles from birth to death, and study the array of specialised hunting techniques they have honed to suit specific habitats and prey species.

As we broaden our perspective to look at environmental change, we also explore the role of birds of prey within their ecosystems.

Importantly, we will examine current threats to endangered raptor species, look at the laws that are in place to protect them, and debate the key conservation issues that affect the survival of birds of prey worldwide.


A pair of Osprey in a nest

Course Details

Next start date:

Continuous enrolment – sign up any time.

Level of study:

Level 3 Certificate.

Learner support:

Learners are fully supported by the tutor throughout the course.


Jennifer Anderson.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe essential aspects of raptor anatomy and biology;
  • Discuss key elements of raptor behavior, including reproduction, rearing young, hunting techniques and diet;
  • Investigate the ecological contexts, habitats and environments in which a range of different species live;
  • Analyse current threats to the survival of species that are at risk;
  • Explore a range of ongoing conservation initiatives working to protect birds of prey, both locally and globally;
  • Develop a personal action plan to help protect raptors and support conservation.

Syllabus overview

In this course we explore the following topics:

Module 1: Anatomy and physiology

  • Introduction to birds of prey
  • Skeletal structure
  • Anatomy and biology

Module 2: Raptor behaviour

  • Life cycles
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Hunting techniques

Module 3: Environment and habitat

  • Habitat variety
  • Field ecology
  • Environmental change

Module 4: Conservation

  • Species at risk
  • Conservation initiatives and the law
  • Protecting raptors: getting involved

Tutor profile

Jennifer Anderson has many years of experience working with wildlife, with particular expertise in birds of prey. She is passionate about wildlife conservation, and leads a number of initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of looking after our natural world.

Jennifer is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.

Tutor Jennifer Anderson holding a Harris' Hawk

Additional information

Academic prerequisites

This learning opportunity is open to anyone, and no prior knowledge or experience of birds of prey or ecology is required. The only prerequisite is a general interest in raptors and wildlife conservation, and a willingness to engage and contribute to course discussions.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive an Akkadium College Level 3 Certificate in Discovering Birds of Prey, and an academic transcript with details of completed modules and learner achievements.

Technical requirements

The course is delivered completely online in a virtual learning environment (VLE), so you will need access to an internet-connected computer or mobile device, and basic computing skills. Our team will be on hand to give you both academic and technical support as needed.

Other information

Please note that places on Certificate courses are limited to harness the educational value of small-group learning. However, most courses run multiple times throughout the year. If your preferred course is fully booked, please ask us about the next available opening.