Two cultures were known to operate Birds-of-Prey:
- Klingon Empire
- Romulan Star Empire
|attack cruiser • attack fighter • battle cruiser • battleship • bird-of-prey • blockade runner • carrier vessel • colony ship • combat cruiser • corvette • cruiser • destroyer • diplomatic vessel • dreadnought • escort vessel • exploration vessel • flagship • freighter • frigate • garbage scow • heavy cruiser • holding vessel • interceptor • light cruiser • medical ship • military vessel • mining vessel • patrol ship • penal deportation vessel • pilot vessel • prison ship • raider • robot ship • runabout • science vessel • scout ship • star cruiser • starliner • starship • supply ship • support vessel • survey ship • tanker • timeship • trading vessel • training ship • transport ship • troop transport • tug • warbird • warship|
The first "Bird-of-Prey" seen was in TOS: "Balance of Terror" and was of the Romulan variety. As originally conceived, the Klingon variant of the Bird-of-Prey was actually a Romulan ship; the script of Star Trek III at first called for the film's main villains to be Romulans using a Romulan Bird-of-Prey, as had been typical of Bird-of-Prey use in Star Trek: The Original Series.
In the chronology of the Star Trek universe, the term "Bird-of-Prey" was first referenced on Enterprise in "Sleeping Dogs", and may have been implied to be the "two ships approaching at high warp" at the end of that episode. An earlier reference made in "Broken Bow" to "a fleet of warbirds" was mentioned by Brannon Braga as a mistake, implying that the production team only wished Romulan ships to be identified as warbirds.
In the game Star Trek: Legacy, the Bird-of-Prey is available as a ship for the player to control.