Hawk vs Eagle vs Falcon (Difference Between Eagle, Hawk, and Falcon)

hawk vs eagle vs falcon

Hawk vs eagle vs falcon is a well-known bird species which are famous for certain qualities. However, many people consider falcon and hawk as similar prey birds, but they both differ in many ways. Although falcon and hawks belong to the same family, some hawks belong to different genera. On the other hand, eagle and hawks both are powerful birds that can give a tough fight to each other. First, we will look at how these birds are distinguished from each other and then see who would win between them.

What is a Hawk?

A hawk is a large predatory bird with many different species. All the species of hawks have sharp talons and beaks. These birds look similar to owls and eagles, but differ in several ways. They are medium-sized diurnal birds who belong to the Accipitridae family. Some people might think that hawk looks similar to an eagle, but there is a difference between hawk and eagle.

How Does a Hawk Look Like?

Hawks are characterized by their muscular legs, sharp talons, large and curved beak. Different hawk species come in a wide variety of sizes and tufts. Their color pattern also ranges widely. Some species have solid colors, while some others have markings or bands. Hawks also have large eyes which enable them excellent eyesight. They can see eight times more clear than a human. The hearing capacity of hawks is keen, but their sense of smell is weak. Using their sharp nails, they can catch their prey both in the air and on the land. 

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Where Does a Hawk Live?

The hawk habitat depends on its various species, though these birds live across the vast majority of the world. All the species are widely distributed in north, central and south America and Eurasia, Africa, Australia. Some species live across large ranges, while others live only in a small area. 

Hawk Habitat:

Hawks prefer to habitat in different types of habitat. These include marshes, forests, rainforests, open Savannahs, grasslands, mountains, coastal regions, and deserts. 

How Many Species of Hawks are There?

There are more than 200 species of hawks throughout the world. 

What is the Size of a Hawk?

The Northern Goshawk is the largest hawk species that can measure up to 27 inches long, where their wingspan can measure 50 inches and weight up to 4.85 pounds. On the other hand, the little sparrow hawk is the smallest species that measures between 7.9 to 9.8 inches in length with a wingspan of 15 to 20 inches and weighs only around 3 ounces. 

What Does a Hawk Eat?

As hawks are birds of prey, they only feed on meat. Because they live in a different habitat, their diet consists of many varieties. Hawks hunt and eat rabbits, snakes, rats, mice, lizards, fish, and squirrels. 

How Fast Can a Hawk Fly?

Hawks are known for their speed, especially when they are chasing their prey. During their hunt, some of the falcon species can dive 150 miles per hour through the air.

How Many Eggs Does a Hawk Lay?

Some of the hawk species are monogamous and are known for their mating season. Before mating, hawks perform a courtship dance where the male and the female fly together in a circular motion in the air.  

After reaching a certain height, the male will dive towards the female and will rise back to the altitude. The two birds will continue this till the male latches on the female and begin to free fall. 

In a year, a female hawk lay between 1 to 5 eggs until the eggs are hatch they are cared for by the parents. The male and female build the nest before the breeding season. 

Hawk behavior:

One interesting fact about hawks is that they can see colors and those in the ultraviolet range. Which means they can identify colors that humans cannot see. When hawks flock, it is known as a kettle of hawks. A kettle may contain thousands of birds depending on different species. 

How Long Does a Hawk Live?

In the wild, hawks can survive between 10 to 20 years while in captivity they can live up to 30 years. 

Are Hawks Endangered?

Some of the hawk species are endangered, while some of them are described as vulnerable. The species are threatened due to their habitat loss because of deforestation and human settlement. 

What is a Falcon?

Falcons belong to the Falco genus. They are identified by their bullet-shaped body, long and pointed wings, medium tail, long toes with sharped and hooked claws, and a short hooked bill. Most of the falcon species possess dark brown or grey color along with white, yellow, or black markings on their body. 

Where Does a Falcon Live?

The preferred habitat of a falcon includes arctic tundra, wetlands, prairies, savannas, deserts, mountains, forests, urban areas, and coastal areas. The population of the falcon is widely distributed throughout the north, central and south America, Eurasia, Australia, and Africa. 

How Many Types of Falcons are There?

About 40 different species of a falcon can be found throughout the world. 

Which is the largest falcon species?

The gyrfalcon is the largest falcon species that can reach up to 24 inches with a wide wingspan of 51 inches and weigh around 47.6 ounces. However, the smallest falcon species are the Seychelles Kestrel, which can only measure 7.9 inches long with a wingspan of 16 to 18 inches and weigh 2.5 to 3 ounces. 

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What does a falcon eat?

Falcons hunt on different types of prey, including birds, mice, rats, rabbits, gulls, snakes, fish, insects, frogs, and other Raptors. All the falcon species are opportunistic hunters and feed on different types of prey.

How fast can a falcon fly?

The peregrine falcon species is renowned for its speed, which can reach 200 miles per hour. 

How many eggs does a falcon lay?

Falcons mate for life and mate in the same territory every year. Male and female falcons make a nest in a tree and lay eggs on a bare ridge on a rocky cliff or use a hollow tree. Females lay 2 to 5 eggs, and the egg ranges from white to reddish and molted brown color. The eggs incubated for 30 days majorly by females. 

Falcon behavior:

Falcons are diurnal birds; they hunt and prey during the daylight. They use their excellent eyesight to locate their prey. Falcon can see eight times more clearly than humans. They are robust, fast, and agile birds that can carry prey six times their body weight. Unlike hawks and eagles, falcons do not kill using their feet. They kill with their beaks. 

How long does a falcon live?

In the wild, a falcon’s lifespan is between 12 to 20 years, while in captivity, they can survive up to 25 years. 

Are falcons endangered?

Once the peregrine falcon species were classified as endangered but now it is no longer an endangered species. Under the IUCN, the falcons are considered as least concern. 

What is an eagle?

Eagles are birds of prey and a member of the Accipitridae family. The eagles are considered the king of birds because of their high strength, flight elevation, rapidity, and natural brutality. Their size can easily recognize these birds. They have sharp nails on their feet and large curved beaks. 

What does an eagle look like?

Eagles are powerfully built birds with a massive head and beak. The female eagles tend to be larger than males. Like other prey birds, eagles have large hooked beaks that enable them to rip the flesh of their prey; they possess muscular legs and powerful talons. 

Where can you find eagles?

Suppose we compare the habitat of eagle versus hawk then just like hawks, different species of eagle’s habitat in different regions. These birds can be seen from the tropical area to the frigid Arctic Tundra. Their habitat includes a variety of ecosystems, such as dry, rain, and mountain forests, meadows, prairies, deserts, and many more. All these birds live in North America, South America, Australia, Eurasia, and Africa. 

How many species of eagles are there?

More than 60 species of eagles are surviving around the world.

What is the size of an eagle?

The smallest eagle species is the South Nicobar serpent eagle, which measures only 16 inches and weighs only 0.99 pounds. Whereas, the Philippine eagle is considered as the largest eagle species in terms of length and wingspan. However, the Steller’s sea eagle and the harpy eagle are the larger in terms of weight. In a comparison of a red-tailed hawk vs. bald eagles, even the juveniles of a bald eagle are much bigger than a red-tailed hawk. 

What does an eagle eat?

Eagles are predatory and only feed on meat, they hunt their prey before eating them. This prey includes fish, rabbits, marmots, hares, mice, and ground squirrels. Some of the eagle species are scavengers, which means they primarily eat dead fish and animals.

How fast can an eagle fly?

The golden eagle species can fly at the top speed of 200 miles per hour. 

How many eggs does an eagle lay?

Eagles are monogamous; they pair for life and use the same nest every year. Eagles usually build their nests, in tall trees or high cliffs. Both males and females construct the nest together. Many of the eagle species lay between 1 to 3 eggs. It takes near 35 days for an eagle egg to hatch. 

Eagle’s behavior:

Eagles are most active during the daytime and rest at night. Generally, eagles are solitary but can be found in pairs. The eyesight of an eagle is 4 to 8 times stronger than humans. Eagles are not able to move their eyes but can rotate their head to 270 degrees. The bald eagle species is known to have flown carrying with the most massive load. It flew holding a 15 pounds mule deer. 

How long does an eagle live?

The average lifespan of an eagle is between 14 and 35 years in the wild. 

Are eagles endangered?

According to the IUCN red list, the Philippine eagles are described as critically endangered species. Their population is decreasing because they are threatened by habitat destruction, as human settlement and urbanization are increasing. 

Eagle vs Falcon vs Hawk: Fight Comparison

Firstly, if we compare the hawk vs. Eagle fight, it would not be fair because of the massive size and features of an eagle. A hawk could not stand for a length in front of an eagle. The eagle is known to kill animals heavier than its size, such as deer. However, when we compare a fight between a falcon and a hawk, it would be challenging to conclude who would win as both are similar. But in size, hawks have an advantage, and they are also known to hunt for larger prey. In a fight between all three birds, the eagle has a higher chance of winning against hawk and falcon.

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