Hawk Facts

Hawk Facts
Hawk is a general term for a large group of birds of prey of the order Falconiformes. There are around 270 species of hawks that can be found on all continents except Antarctica. Hawks inhabit different types of habitats: marshes, forests, rainforests, prairies, open savannas, grasslands, mountains and coastal regions. Certain species of hawks (such as Cooper's hawk) are endangered due to chemical pollution which induces destruction of the eggs. Other factors that affect survival of hawks in the wild are destruction of nesting areas, excessive hunt and collisions with cars.
Interesting Hawk Facts:
Hawks vary in size depending on the species. Smallest hawk (American Kestrel) weighs only 4 ounces. Largest hawk (Ferruginous Hawk) weighs up to 5 pounds. Females are larger than males.
Large species of hawks (such as Rough-legged Hawk) reach the length of 22 inches, with wingspan of 55 inches.
Hawks are characterized by sharp talons, large, curved bill and muscular legs. Sharp bill is used for biting and tearing the prey.
Hawks have excellent eyesight. They can see 8 times better than humans. Eyesight is primarily used for hunting. Hawk can locate its prey from a distance of 100 feet.
Unlike many animals, hawks are able to see different colors.
During the hunt, hawks can dive 150 miles per hour through the air. They are able to catch a prey both in the air and on the ground.
Hawks are diurnal animals (they are active during the day).
Hawks are opportunistic feeders. That mean that they hunt and eat whatever is available. Mostly, they hunt frogs, insects, squirrels, rats, snakes, rabbits and smaller birds.
Certain species of hawks belong to group of migratory birds. They are able to travel more than thousand miles each year from the nesting to the feeding areas when temperature drops down.
Depending on the species and geographic location, hawks mate at different time in the year. Mating season for most hawks takes place at the end of winter or early in the spring.
Hawks are monogamous animals (one couple mate for a lifetime). In the case that one partner dies, other will find another mating partner.
Spectacular dance in the air precedes mating. Male performs series of acrobatics in the air that may last up to 10 minutes.
Hawks build nests on the trees using the twigs and branches. Hawks that live in marshes, build nests on the ground.
Larger species of hawks lay one or two eggs; smaller species lays 3 - 5 eggs. Young hawks develop quickly. Smaller species may reach adult size in one month, while larger species become fully grown after 11 weeks.
Average lifespan of a hawk is between 13 and 20 years in the wild. Hawks live over 20 years in captivity.

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