Hawk are a group of medium-diurnal birds of prey of the family Accipitridae.
Hawks are widely distributed and vary greatly in size. The subfamily Accipitrinae includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, sharp-shinned hawks and others. This subfamily are mainly woodland birds with long tails and high visual acuity.
hawk, any of various small to medium-sized falconiform birds, particularly those in the genus Accipiter, known as the true hawks, and including the goshawks and sparrowhawks. The term hawk is often applied to other birds in the family Accipitridae (such as the kites, buzzards, and harriers) and sometimes is extended to include certain members of the family Falconidae (falcons and caracaras).
Hawks occur on the six major continents. Most species nest in trees, but some, such as the marsh hawk, nest on the ground in grassy places, and others nest on cliffs. They lay from three to six brown-spotted eggs.
Species of Hawk
The broad-winged hawk is usually 13 – 18 inches in size, with a wing span of almost 40 inches, and their tails have evenly spaced black and white stripes. The females are slightly larger than the males.
The distinctive feature of this species is that they have tapered wings, which are broad and short. Their undersides, meaning their belly and the underside of their wings, are pale in color with distinctive copper color bands.
The male is around 14 –18 inches in size, while the female is 16 –20 inches. The eastern hawks are bigger than the western hawks, and while juveniles have yellow eyes, adults have red. Their upper sides are dark brown as compared to their pale underparts, and their bellies have black stripes. The tails of the adults are bluish gray with black bands, while the young ones have brown tails with dark bands.
Cooper’s hawks are monogamous, and breed once a year. The male follows an elaborate courtship ritual to attract the female. They feed on small creatures like hare, frogs, lizards, snakes, small birds, etc. They kill their prey by either squeezing it to death, or drowning it.
They are 17 – 22 inches in size, and have a wingspan of 38 – 47 inches. The upper sides of adult males are gray, and so is their breast, while their rump is white. As for the females, they are brown on top, with streaked and light brown undersides and have upper tail converts which are white. The wings are almost gray, except for the tips which are black.
Commonly known as Marsh Hawk, this bird was first classified in the order Falconiformes, but has now been put into the order Accipitriformes. Northern Harriers prefer open areas as their habitat. They nest on the ground. They tend to make a lot of noise when they are above their hunting grounds, and hunt using the element of surprise. Their prey is usually small birds and animals. They have become rare, due to illegal persecution and hunting.
FUN FACTS ABOUT HAWK
- Hawks mate for life. The male does tricks in the air to impress a female. These showcases can last over 10 minutes.
- Hawks build large nests out of sticks. The nests can be 3 feet wide. Hawks place their nests atop a tall tree, a cliff or even a cactus.
- As mentioned already a hawks eyesight is excellent, their hearing is also excellent but a hawks sense of smell is not so good.
- Hawks can dive at speeds in access of 150 mph – yikes that’s fast.
- Female hawks are generally larger than their male counterparts.
- Hawks can hunt in the air also for other birds.
- There are over 200 species of hawks worldwide. The largest hawk in North America is the Ferruginous Hawk.
- A hawk can see colors.
- A hawk can live up to 20 years, although 13 to 15 years is about the norm.
- The large rough legged hawk has a wingspan up to 1.4 m (4.5 ft).
- Hunters in Great Britain hunted buzzards for many years.
Amaze-Wing Facts About The Hawk
- What do they prey on?
Snakes, mice, rabbit, fish
- What do they eat?
- Average litter size?
- How much do they weigh?
0.3-3.1 lb (0.2-1.1 kg )
- How long are they?
12-24 in (30-60 cm)
- What do they look like?
Brownish, red brownish
- Skin Type
- What are their main threats?
Loss Of Habitat, Fragmentation
- What is their conservation status?
- Scientific Name
Did you know…
Hawks are diurnal birds. The word diurnal means ‘active in the daytime’, which means these predatory birds go hunting during the daytime.