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5 Animals That Eat Hawks: [Predators]

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?  So, what does eat a hawk?

Hawks are eaten by the red fox, great-horned owls, raccoons, larger hawks, and eagles that tend to kill and eat hawks.

1. Red Foxes

What Eats Hawks

Red foxes are known to be predators of hawks. While their primary diet consists of small rodents, they will also eat birds, reptiles, and insects. In fact, red foxes have been known to kill and eat adult hawks.

The reason why red foxes target hawks specifically is because they are an easy prey. Hawks are not as fast or agile as the red fox, making them an easy target for a quick meal.

Red foxes will typically kill a hawk by biting its neck or throat, suffocating it.

While it is not common, there have been instances where red foxes have been killed by hawks. This usually happens when the hawk gets the element of surprise and is able to attack the fox before it has a chance to defend itself.

2. Great Horned Owls

What Eats Hawks

The great horned owl is a top predator in its ecosystem. It’s known to eat everything from mice to squirrels to rabbits. But one of its favorite meals is actually another predator: the hawk.

The great horned owl is much larger than the hawks it preys on, so it has no problem taking them down. In fact, it’s been known to kill and eat Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, and even great blue herons.

So why do great horned owls like eating hawks? One theory is that they’re simply more nutritious. Hawks are packed with protein and fat, which the owl needs to survive. Another theory is that the owl sees the hawk as a threat and wants to eliminate it from its territory.

Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that the great horned owl is a formidable predator. If you’re ever lucky enough to see one in the wild, you’ll definitely be impressed by its size and power.

3. Raccoons

What Eats Hawks

Raccoons are known to eat just about anything, but one of their favorite meals is hawks. Raccoons will typically go after young, small hawks that are still learning to fly and hunt.

Once the raccoon has caught the hawk, it will kill it by biting its neck. Raccoons will also eat the hawk’s organs and sometimes even its feathers.

While it may seem odd that a small animal like a raccoon would take on a larger predator like a hawk, it’s actually quite common. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any meal they can find.

In addition to eating hawks, raccoons are also known to eat snakes, rodents, birds, and even fish.

4. Other Hawks

What Eats Hawks

Hawks are predators and they typically eat other animals. This can include small mammals, reptiles, birds, and even other hawks. Hawks will also eat carrion, which is the carcass of a dead animal.

There are four main types of hawks that are found in North America. These include the red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and broad-winged hawk. Each type of hawk has its own preferred diet, but all will eat smaller animals if given the opportunity.

Hawks are important members of the ecosystem and help to keep populations of other animals in check. Without these predators, populations of prey animals would quickly get out of control and this could lead to problems for both the animals and humans alike.

5. Eagles

What Eats Hawks

Eagles are one of the top predators in the sky. They use their powerful talons and beaks to take down their prey, which includes other birds like hawks. Hawks are no match for an eagle’s sharp claws and strong beak.

Eagles will eat hawks whole, feathers and all.

Eagles typically hunt during the day, when they can spot their prey from high up in the sky. They will swoop down on their unsuspecting prey at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour!

Once they have a hawk in their grasp, they will fly back to their nest to enjoy their meal.

If you see an eagle hunting a hawk, it’s best to stay away. These powerful birds can be dangerous and you don’t want to get caught in the middle of their mealtime!

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.

At The Top Of The Food Chain

What Eats Hawks

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.


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.

Hawks are eaten by very few predators. With that in mind, hawks are eaten by the red fox, great-horned owls, raccoons, larger hawks, and eagles that tend to kill and eat hawks.

Brian Koller

Growing up on a farm in eastern PA, I’ve grown fond of wildlife and the woods and learning about the critters and firewood and everything else in-between. I made this site to share my experiences and knowledge.

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