What Animals Eat Hawks?

What Animals Eat Hawks?

Hawks are known for hunting a variety of prey and being high up on the food chain. They eat anything from tiny insects to small rodents, snakes, and even small birds. Everyone knows that there’s a food chain in the animal kingdom, so what predators eat hawks?

These birds have very few natural predators, which is great for them. But the animals that tend to feast on hawks include larger hawks, a variety of eagles, certain owls, snakes that can climb trees, raccoons, and red foxes. While all of these predators tend to eat hawks, the ones that hawks need to be the wariest of are larger hawks and eagles.

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Great Horned Owls

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owls have been known to eat hawks, even though hawks are not a primary food source for the owls. Often, this is due to a territorial dispute between the two birds. Hawks are impressive hunters, but when positioned against a Great Horned Owl, it’s a fight they’re likely to lose.

These owls can exert around 28 pounds of pressure from their talons. When a hawk, or other prey, gets caught by their talons, the owl snaps their spine, and they’re helpless. These predators are stealthy hunters and can strike fast and quietly before a hawk even knew what hit them.

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Goshawk

Goshawk
Goshawk

Goshawks, a larger species of hawk, have been known to prey on other hawks that are smaller than them. This leaves quite a few hawks that are smaller than them because they’re one of the largest species of hawk. These birds are one of the largest species of hawk, making them higher on the food chain.

Goshawk’s regular diet doesn’t consist of other hawks, but it does include smaller songbirds and small rodents. Due to these birds being very aggressive and territorial, it’s not uncommon for a Goshawk to attack and eat a smaller hawk if it’s encroaching on its territory.

RELATED: What Do Hawks Eat?

Eagles

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Eagles are another top predator amongst birds. There are a few eagles that will hunt and eat hawks. Both Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles are opportunistic hunters. They both regularly eat small mammals, birds, and rodents but will steal another animal’s meal if given the opportunity.

Similar to hawks, eagles are very territorial. It’s not unusual for eagles and hawks to get into a fight over their area. If the hawk is killed during the battle, the eagle thinks of it as a well-earned meal. Since eagles will hunt smaller birds, they do hunt for smaller hawks if they’re in the area where they’re living.

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Tree Climbing Snakes

There are several species of snakes that have the ability to slither up trees. From brown snakes to even rattlesnakes, if they can climb trees, they will find a meal. While these snakes don’t pose any threat to an adult hawk, baby hawks and hawk eggs are in danger.

Hawk eggs are defenseless to predators unless the mother hawk is in the nest. Hawk eggs that are left unprotected in the nest are an easy meal for a snake that has taken the time to climb up the tree.

RELATED: Do Eagles Eat Snakes? (What If They Get Bitten?)

Red Foxes

Do Foxes Eat Snakes?
Red Fox

While red foxes look adorable and innocent, these animals are great hunters. Red foxes tend to eat small rodents and mammals, and vegetation. On occasion, they have been known to eat small birds as well.

Typically if a red fox is feasting on a small bird, they didn’t catch it unless it was on the ground or it was already injured or dead. They will go after smaller hawks that hunt on the land and even larger ones if they can get their paws on them. While they will eat hawks, they’re not their typical meal of choice.

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Raccoons

Raccoon eating a chocolate bar
Raccoon eating a chocolate bar

You may be wondering why raccoons are on this list since hawks have been known to eat them. Well, raccoons don’t eat adult hawks. They will climb up trees and snag any hawk eggs or baby hawks if they’re left unattended, though.

Now, if a raccoon happens to be lurking around a hawk’s nest when there are babies or eggs in them when the mom returns, the hawk will have a meal.

RELATED: Can Raccoons Eat Chocolate? (Can you feed it to them)

Where do Hawks Live?

Well, it depends on the species. Most hawks tend to live in fields and deserts because it’s easier for them to find food, but these birds can live anywhere. You may even see them from time to time in a suburban neighborhood.

How Many Natural Predators do Hawks Have?

Even though there are a few predators that will eat hawks, hawks have almost no natural predators. In fact, their only natural predators are various species of eagles and other hawks. Hawks are at the center of the food
web.

Do Lions Eat Hawks?

It’s unlikely you’ll see a lion roaming the same territory as a hawk in the United States. Still, since lions are carnivores, it’s not impossible that they would eat a hawk if given the opportunity.

Are Hawks Afraid of Eagles, Owls, and Larger Hawks?

Since we can’t ask hawk if they feel fear when an eagle, owl, or larger hawk approaches, we can only make an assumption. Since these are the only natural predators that hawks have, I think it’s safe to say that they do feel at least a little fear when one approaches or is in the area.

How do Hawks Protect Their Eggs and Babies?

The only way for a hawk to protect its young is never to leave the nest, which is not realistic. Hawks need to eat, too! So, if a hawk is perched in its nest, it’s highly unlikely a predator will be coming for its young. When they’re out hunting, and a predator makes its way to their nest, the hawk will sneak up from behind them to defend their young. They may even get a satisfying meal out of defending their young too.

Since hawks are close to the top of the food
chain, they don’t have many natural predators. But, the predators that they do have pose a threat to the hawks and their young.

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Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.