The main difference between hawk and eagle is that the hawk is a small bird of prey with a small wingspan whereas the eagle is a large bird of prey with a large wingspan. Furthermore, hawks are less powerful birds compared to eagles, which are one of the most powerful birds in the world.
Hawk and eagle are two types of birds of prey that belong to the family Accipitridae.
Key Areas Covered
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
– Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
3. What are the Similarities Between Hawk and Eagle
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Hawk and Eagle
– Comparison of Key Differences
Bird of Prey, Body Size, Eagle, Hawk, Strength, Wings
Difference Between Hawk and Eagle – Side by Side Comparison
Hawk – Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
Hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey with a characteristic eyesight and hunting techniques. It can grow up to 8 pounds in weight. However, the red-tailed hawk, the largest hawk species on earth, can exceed the size of the Australian little eagle, the smallest eagle species. Hawk can clearly see an object 20 feet in front. Many hawks hunt during the day.
The wingspan of a hawk is around 5 feet. They can soar for long periods of time due to their strong, broad wings and tails. Hawks usually hide in trees and rapidly attack the prey. They have curved and very sharp beaks that are black in color, aiding the capturing and tearing the flesh of prey.
Eagle – Definition, Characteristics, Behavior
Eagle is a large-sized bird of prey with long and broad wings. A typical eagle weighs about 18 pounds. Some of the world’s largest eagles are the golden eagle, Australian wedge-tailed eagle, martial eagle, white-tailed eagle, harpy eagle, Steller’s sea eagle, and Philippine eagle.
Eagles have a heavier-build, muscular body, and very strong legs. The wingspan of an eagle is around 8 feet. In addition, eagles have hooked beaks and curved talons. Eagles hunt their prey in flight and bring it to the nearest perch by their claws.
Similarities Between Hawk and Eagle
- Hawk and eagle are two types of birds of prey.
- Both belong to the family Accipitridae.
- They inhabit forests, grasslands, alpine meadows, tundra, deserts, sea coasts, suburban and urban areas.
- Both are comparatively large in size and have strong and powerful claws, beaks, legs, and wings.
- Their wing shape and tail shape are similar.
- They have keen eyesight, curved talons, and beaks.
- Their legs are feathered right down to the toes.
- Their females are larger and stronger than males.
- They hunt during the day and hence called diurnal birds.
Difference Between Hawk and Eagle
Hawk is a diurnal bird of prey with broad rounded wings and a long tail, typically taking prey by surprise with a short chase while eagle is a large bird of prey with a massive hooked bill and long, broad wings, known for its keen sight and powerful soaring flight.
Number of Species
There are around 250 species of hawk in the world while there are only 74 species of eagles.
Hawks are comparatively smaller in size while eagles are large birds. In addition, the wingspan of a hawk is small while the wingspan of an eagle is large.
Eagles are stronger than hawks.
While hawks are mainly gray or reddish brown from the top with whitish underneath, eagle can be golden, blackish-gray or brown in color. In addition, the beaks of hawks are black in color while the beaks of eagles are yellow or white in color.
Significance of Feathers
There are dark spots or streaks on the neck and legs of hawks and darker bars on the wings and tail while the legs of eagles are feathered down to the toes.
The noise produced by hawks is a high-pitched screeching, but eagles can produce a subtle scream.
Rabbits, rats, mice, gophers, and grasshoppers are the prey of hawks while small mammals, snakes, and fish are the prey of eagles.
A group of hawks is known as a cast while a group of eagles is known as a convocation.
Whereas hawks build bulky nests on trees or rocks, eagles build nests (eyries) in tall trees or cliffs.
During their lifetime, hawks lay eggs 5 times while eagle lays eggs 2 times.
Number of Eggs and Color
Hawks lay 2-7 eggs that are light blue or whitish with brown spots while eagles generally lay two whitish eggs.
The lifespan of hawks is about 15 years while the lifespan of an eagle is about 30 years.
Goshawks, sharp-shinned hawk, sparrowhawks, duck hawks, and fishhawks are some examples of hawks while Philippine eagle, Steller’s sea eagle, harpy eagle, and martial eagle are some examples of eagles.
Hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey while eagle is a large-sized bird of prey. Both are famous due to their eyesight and hunting techniques. The main difference between hawk and eagle is the size and the strength of the body.
1. “Hawk.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Sept. 2016, Available Here
2. “Eagle.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 8 Dec. 2017, Available Here
3. Mwaniki, Andrew. “The World’s Largest Eagles.” WorldAtlas, WorldAtlas, 3 Oct. 2017, Available Here
1. “Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk” By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region (CC BY 2.0) via flickr
2. “Golden Eagle 12a (6027292102)” By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK – Golden Eagle 12aUploaded by Magnus Manske (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia