The term ‘hawk’ is used to describe the entire family of diurnal birds of prey. It belongs to the same heterogeneous family of birds, including Eagle, Kite, The Old World Vulture and the Secretary Bird. Hawks have acute keen eyesight, even better than humans, muscular legs with powerful feet and sharply hooked bills that are used for biting and tearing flesh. Known for their sharp talons, hawks catch their prey even during flight. Their nostrils are located above the bill on a fleshy patch of skin called the cere. They are swift fliers, with some attaining a speed of over 150 mph when diving. There are more than 270 different species that comprise the hawk family. They vary widely in size and form, ranging from 4 ounces to 52 ounces. Like many other birds, hawks pair with a mate for life. If these facts have already interested you and you would like to know more about this beautiful bird, read on further to find more interesting facts and amazing information on hawks.
Genera: Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis
Group Name: Cast, aerie or kettle
Height: 19 inches
Weight: 690-1460 g
Lifespan: 21 years
Habitat: Forests, prairies, marshlands and open savannas.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 2 years
Gestation Period: 3-6 weeks
Number of Offspring: 1-5 eggs
Interesting & Amazing Information On Hawks
- Hawks hunt and nest in the same territory every year. Though they may have a number of nest locations, they rotate its use annually.
- Did you know that female hawks are larger than males in size?
- The Red-tailed Hawk is often harassed by other birds, such as owls, crows, magpies, songbirds and even other hawks.
- Most hawks pair for life. However, if one of the hawks dies, then the other will quickly look for a new mate.
- Hawks are secretive birds that perform amazing acrobatic aerial display, during the spring breeding season.
- Hawks usually attack with a swift, ‘swooping’ technique.
- Red-tailed hawks are fairly non-aggressive unlike the others of their kind. These birds are usually harassed by other birds such as crows or owls.
- The Rough-legged Hawk is known to be one of the largest varieties of hawks, with a length of 22 inches and wingspan of more than 55 inches.
- Most of the times, female hawks are larger than their male counterparts. In species like Sharp-shinned hawks, the females can weight twice as much as males.
- Hawks can spot their prey from as far as 100 feet in the air.
- Hawks can be mostly seen in open savannahs, prairies and the canopy layers of rainforests.
- One of the largest hawks yet, has a length of 22 inches and a wingspan of 55 inches during flight.
- Just like other birds of prey, hawks hunt during the daytime.
- While large hawks lay only one to two eggs per year, smaller ones can lay from three to five.
- Did you know that the most common hawk in the United States of America is the red-tailed hawk?
- Hawks have very sharp eyesight and they can see eight times better than human beings. They are also capable of seeing colors.
- Most of the hawks are opportunistic feeders and they feed on anything that they catch. Their main prey includes insects, toads, frogs, snakes, mice, voles, rats, shrews, chipmunks, ducks, herons, rabbits and other birds.
- After hatching, the young hawks grow up very quickly. Small hawks like Kestrels and Sharp-shinned grow to full size in a month’s time while large species like eagles take 11 months to attain full size.
- Hawks build their nests from twigs and sticks high up in trees, except for the harriers or marsh hawks that are ground nesters.
- Hawks can fly at speeds over 150 mph, especially while diving. These birds also migrate to different parts of the world for over thousand miles each year.