Staraptor is a grayish-brown, avian Pokémon similar to a large bird of prey. It has small, red eyes and a thin, yellow beak with a black tip. There is a circular white patch on its forehead, which is smaller on the female. Larger white markings cover the front of its throat and chest, separated by a black ruff encircling the shoulders. A red-tipped, black crest extends over its head, nearly reaching the tip of its beak. Staraptor is fussy about the shape of this comb, which it uses to appear larger and frighten enemies. It has large wings, five black-tipped tail feathers, and yellow feet with black talons. Its powerful wing and leg muscles allow it fly effortlessly while carrying a small Pokémon. Upon evolution, this Pokémon leaves its flock to live alone. It can be highly aggressive, persistently attacking even larger foes in spite of illness or injury.
A Staraptor appeared in A Relay in the Sky!, under the ownership of Orson. Staraptor was used by Orson in the second leg of the Pokémon Sky Relay and took over the ribbon from Orson's Staravia. It was successfully able to deliver his ribbon to Orson's Starly for the final leg.
A Staraptor is one of the Pokémon used by the Advanced level Grunt of Team Galactic. It was first used to take the Grunt to the destroyed camera machine used by Saturn in his fight against Paka and Uji. It was later used in the mugging of Mr. Berlitz and later to battle Diamond at the Galactic HQ. It first appeared in Great Gible.
Staraptor is based on the white-cheeked starling, a common species of bird found throughout Asia, combined with a bird of prey. Although it largely resembles the starling in appearance, much of its inspiration comes from hawks and falcons, particularly its predatory nature and aerial speed. It also has strong similarities to the harpy eagle. The feathers hanging over its face are similar to the long-crested eagle.