When most people think about the hawk they tend to think of a vicious creature with large talons and the ability to swoop in and out on prey in an instant. Well, you would be correct. This is exactly what the hawk is capable of doing, but did you know that there are animals that hunt the hawk as well?
What eats hawks? Far as natural predators go, there aren’t many. It really is only the red fox, great-horned owls, raccoons, larger hawks, and eagles that tend to kill and eat hawks.
What Eats Hawks
It is not uncommon or unheard of for hawks to go after one another. In fact, they’ll kill and eat each other under the right circumstances. The Goshawk is well known for removing any competitors from its territory.
It is an aggressive species with a mammoth size. It could probably be one of the biggest hawk species out there, and it is certainly not afraid to throw its weight around. Large owls will sometimes take hawks that are roosting at night or even when they are incubating eggs.
All that being said, it should be noted that when it comes to the larger species of the birds, everything should be considered territorial. Raptor-like birds usually don’t go after one another unless they feel like the other is invading in their space.
It is usually the smaller species of birds like the mocking birds that are commonly attacking each other.
Location, Location, Location
Hawks reside all over this great country and in a variety of regions. This is one of the major factors that will determine what type of animal poses the biggest threat.
Hawks mostly are known for residing in swamps, woods, and forests through the North American, Central American, and West Indies areas.
It will only be other creatures in these areas that are capable of posing a threat.
That being said, hawks are versatile by nature and capable of adapting to many different locations. They have even been known to inhabit suburban settings that are semi-close to wooded areas.
It really comes down to where the best hunting grounds are. Hawks are going to want to set up a nest near their best food sources. Since they are known for hunting smaller animals like snakes, voles, lizards, starlings, sparrows, doves, toads, chipmunks, and crayfish, this should give you a good idea of where they might set up shop.
These birds of prey are by far one of the most patient and sneakiest hunters of all. They’ll hide, stealthy in trees, and wait until they spot a clear opening before swooping in on their prey.
Once spotted, you can rest assured that they’ll swoop in so quick and vicious that the prey won’t know what hit them.
Hawks like to build their nest in trees high as possible. Some of the most common materials that they’ll use are lichens bark, confider sprigs, and moss.
The hawk is not opposed to recycling either, as they’ll sometimes use the materials from their previous nest. Heck, they might even just use the nest in its entirety if they can transport it to their new location.
[Related Article: Bear Predators]
At The Top Of The Food Chain
Unfortunately, the eggs of a hawk can sometimes be vulnerable to snakes when they are sitting up in trees unguarded. Snakes that are capable of jumping and slithering up trees might find their way to these eggs, but they don’t necessarily target hawk’s eggs more than eggs of other bird species.
In fact, they might opt for a different species over the hawk because it would be much less of a challenge if they are encountered by the mother in the act.
[Related Article: What Eats A Wolf]
Pertinent Facts About The Hawk
You likely don’t need anyone to tell you that the hawk is one of nature’s most efficient and effective hunters. This is because they were naturally designed for preying and hunting.
With their razor-sharp beaks and talons, they can quickly swoop in, snatch up their prey, kill it, and consume it. You also learned that they are versatile and adaptable. This is part of the reason that they’ll be found on every continent in the world, except for Antarctica.
Most people don’t know that the term hawk actually refers to any member of the order Falconiformes, raptors, or birds of prey. This means that the term hawk could actually be used to describe an eagle, a vulture, or a falcon.
Given this, they can weigh in anywhere from as little as 4 ounces to as big as 13 pounds. While their diets mostly consist of fish, fruit, bats, other birds, and invertebrates, there are some members of the species considered scavengers.
For instance, this is where the bald eagle would fall in. Another interesting thing about hawks is that they are monogamous, meaning that they mate with the same partner for life.
This is pretty rare when you consider it, even in the animal kingdom. Another thing that makes the hawk such an avid and keen hunter is its eyesight. Hawks possess the innate ability to see about eight times more clearly than humans.
They have right around 1 million photoreceptors per square millimeter, whereas the human eye has somewhere right around 200,000 photoreceptors per square millimeter.
There is no denying that the hawk should be a feared creature. Especially by its natural prey. That being said, the hawk is not all invulnerable or impervious to attack itself.
This much you can clearly see from the information above, along with the fact that the term hawk is a broad one. The term hawk doesn’t just refer to one specific species of birds. It can refer to everything from the eagle to the vulture.