“Hawks” refer to the diurnal or active predatory birds during the day. The order Falconiformes — the scientific term for hawks – consists of around 270 species of carnivorous birds worldwide. All raptors, or birds of prey, are included in this order.
Hawks, like all prey birds, have some basic characteristics, such as sharp eyesight, hooked beaks, and taloned feet, but there is a broad range of shapes and sizes. Hawk is an efficient predator. Their survival depends on their ability to hunt and eat various things. In this case, predation isn’t harsh or malicious; it is a natural process that has been going on for millions of years. Let’s learn some more interesting about hawks.
The size of hawks varies with species. The American Kestrel, the tiniest hawk, is barely 4 ounces in weight. Ferocious Ferruginous Hawks can weigh as much as 5 pounds. Female hawks are both larger and stronger than males. They have big, curved beaks with keen talons and strong legs. Prey is torn apart by the beak’s razor-sharp teeth.
Hawks’ vision is second to none. Compared to humans, they have an 8-fold advantage in vision. Hunting is the primary function of keen eyesight. At least 100 feet away, a hawk can spot its prey with its beak-like eyes. While many animals cannot distinguish between distinct hues, hawks do.
They can dive through the air at up to 150 mph while hunting. These predators can catch their prey easily and quickly on and off the ground.
Hawks can be called opportunistic eaters. They capture and consume whatever food they can find on the ground and air. As far as their diet is concerned, they like to prey on frogs, insects, other tiny vertebrates, and smaller birds.
Also Read: 5 Types of Hawks Live in Florida
Hawks are migratory birds. When the temperature drops, they can migrate more than a thousand kilometers yearly from their nests to their feeding grounds.
Hawk mate at different times of the year, depending on their species and location. Most hawk mating season occurs at the end of winter or the beginning of spring. Hawks are solitary creatures (one couple mates for a lifetime). As a result of one of their partners’ deaths, they find another.
2. Hawk Flock
A kettle of hawk is the term used for a group of hawks. Thousands of birds can be found in the same kettle, depending on the type and season of a hawk. The hawk that migrates uses huge groups to find the warm wind currents known as thermals, even though they prefer to live alone.
Canadian scientist Dr. Louis Lefebvre suggested a way to test birds’ intelligence by looking at how they feed themselves. As measured by this index, the prey birds were considered among the most intelligent on this scale.
Using a “swooping” tactic, these powerful predators can seize their prey even when in the air. The hawk’s talons help them to catch their prey more effectively.
5. Life Span
In the wild, hawks can live for between 13 and 20 years. A hawk can survive in captivity for up to two decades.
Although they’re predators, many people have long viewed hawks as vermin. In the past, they were viewed as savage and vicious creatures who deserved to be hunted down and killed. Fortunately, we now know that hawks are neither dangerous nor cruel, thanks to our enhanced knowledge of the environment. Like all living things, they contribute to the complexity and diversity of our planet’s ecosystems. The preservation of that natural environment is critical for both their own and our well-being.