14 Major Difference Between Hawk And Falcon (With Comparison Table & Pictures)

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Hawk

Hawks are a group of medium-sized diurnal birds of prey, particularly those in genus Accipiter, known as the true hawks and including the goshawks and sparrowhawks. The term hawk is often applied to other birds in the family Accipitridae such as kites, buzzards and harriers and sometimes it is extended to include certain members of the family Falconidae such as Caracaras.

Hawks have strong muscular legs, sharp and curved talons, sharp, powerful and curved beaks, powerful wings, keen eyesight, swift fliers, can soar for long periods. Hawks vary in color and most are gray or reddish brown on top and whitish underneath. Usually the bills are black, the feet yellow and the talons black.

Hawks usually like to live in places like deserts and fields, likely as it is easier to find prey. When it flies, the hawk flaps its wings rapidly and then uses that momentum to glide smoothly and gracefully through the air.

 Although the hawk is known for being violent predator, some are gentle and quiet. The hawk’s preferred time for hunting is usually just before nightfall when daylight lessens. Some of the animals the hawk hunts for food include: snakes, lizards, fish, mice rabbits, squirrels, birds and other type of small game that is found on the ground.

What You Need To Know About Hawk

  1. Hawks have strong muscular legs, sharp and curved talons, sharp, powerful and curved beaks, powerful wings, keen eyesight, swift fliers, can soar for long periods.
  2. Hawk belongs to the family Accipitridae which comprises of many other species such as goshawks, sparrowhawks and sharp-shinned hawks.
  3. Hawks vary in color and most are gray or reddish brown on top and whitish underneath. Usually the bills are black, the feet yellow and the talons black.
  4. Hawks have a sleek and pointed head.
  5. The number of species of the hawk is more than 250.
  6. Hawk’s wings are shorter than falcons’ and they move much more slowly in the air.
  7. Hawks are more massive than falcons, even with their short wingspan.
  8. Hawks have a simple curve on their beaks.
  9. Hawks use talons on the feet to kill prey.
  10. Hawks flap their wings slowly and glide more often.
  11. Hawks are not specific about their diet and can eat anything that comes their way. They eat rodents, mice, grasshoppers, frogs, snakes, other reptiles and other birds as well.
  12. Nests are bulky and made up of sticks. Typically on trees or rocky cliffs.
  13. Female hawks lay whitish or light blue eggs with brown spots.
  14. Hawks lay two to seven eggs.

Falcon

Falcons are birds of prey in the genius Falco, which includes about 40 species. Falcons are widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica. Falcons belong to family falconidae and subfamily falconinae.  The falcons are the largest genus in the Falconinae subfamily of Falconidae, which itself also includes another subfamily comprising caracaras and a few other species.

Falcons are smaller in size compared to hawks, but they have large pointed sleek wings which enable them to fly at high speed and change direction rapidly. Some falcons habitually hover while scanning the ground for prey. Some species capture birds of their own size or smaller in midair. Others live mainly on hares, mice, lizards and insects.  

Falcons commonly nest in holes in trees or natural ledges on cliffs. The eggs are usually four or five in number and buffy white in color, speckled and blotched with reddish brown. The incubation period is about 28 to 36 days and the young are cared for in the nest for as long as 30 days.

What You Need To Know About Falcon

  1. Falcon are medium sized raptor bird with long pointed wings-gray on the upper and back sides, black and brown bars on its side, blue color eyes, feet colors are from green to yellow, sharp and hooked beak.
  2. Falcons belong to family falconidae and subfamily falconinae. All the species come under the same genus, unlike hawks which have many genera.
  3. Falcons too vary in color, they are mostly black, white, silver and red.
  4. Falcons have a short, rounded head.
  5. The falcon has 37 species.
  6. Falcons have long wings and they fly at high speeds.
  7. Falcons are smaller in size compared to hawks, but they have large pointed wings to assist them in flying fast.
  8. Falcons have a notch on their beaks.
  9. Falcons grab their prey with the beaks.
  10. Falcon rapidly beat their wings and glides for a short period of time.
  11. Falcons are carnivorous in nature and eat small insects and small birds such as doves and pigeons.
  12. Nesting on man-made structures such as towers and buildings.
  13. Female falcons lay whitish eggs with dark brown markings.
  14. Falcons lay between three to four eggs.

Also Read: Difference Between Bobcat And Mountain Lion

Difference Between Hawk And Falcon In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON HAWK FALCON
Description Hawks have strong muscular legs, sharp and curved talons, sharp, powerful and curved beaks, powerful wings, keen eyesight, swift fliers, can soar for long periods.   Falcon are medium sized raptor bird, long pointed wings-gray on the upper and back sides, black and brown bars on its side, blue color eyes, feet colors are from green to yellow, sharp and hooked beak.
Family Hawk belongs to the family Accipitridae. Falcons belong to family falconidae and subfamily falconinae.
Color Hawks vary in color and most are gray or reddish brown on top and whitish underneath. Usually the bills are black, the feet yellow and the talons black.   Falcons too vary in color, they are mostly black, white, silver and red.  
Head Hawks have a sleek and pointed head.   Falcons have a short, rounded head.  
Number Of Species The number of species of the hawk is more than 250.   The falcon has 37 species.  
Wings Hawk’s wings are shorter than falcons’ and they move much more slowly in the air.   Falcons have long wings and they fly at high speeds.  
Size Hawks are more massive than falcons, even with their short wingspan.   Falcons are smaller in size compared to hawks, but they have large pointed wings to assist them in flying fast.  
Beaks Hawks have a simple curve on their beaks.   Falcons have a notch on their beaks.  
Grabbing Of Prey Hawks use talons on the feet to kill prey.   Falcons grab their prey with the beaks.  
Wings Hawks flap their wings slowly and glide more often.   Falcon rapidly beat their wings and glides for a short period of time.  
Diet Hawks are not specific about their diet and can eat anything that comes their way. They eat rodents, mice, grasshoppers, frogs, snakes, other reptiles and other birds as well.   Falcons are carnivorous in nature and eat small insects and small birds such as doves and pigeons.  
Nests Nests are bulky and made up of sticks. Typically on trees or rocky cliffs.   Nesting on man-made structures such as towers and buildings.  
Egg Color Female hawks lay whitish or light blue eggs with brown spots.   Female falcons lay whitish eggs with dark brown markings.  
Egg Number Hawks lay two to seven eggs.   Falcons lay between three to four eggs.