Hawk vs Eagle – Difference and Comparison

What is Hawk?

Hawk is a bird of the family Accipitridae. Like any other Accipitridae, they are birds of prey. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals.

Hawks have very good eyesight, giving them very good vision from high above. They have four types of color receptors in their eyes. This gives them the ability to see ultraviolet lights.

Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) is the smallest species of hawk known so far. They are 23 to 37 cm (9.1 to 15 in) in length and weigh in a range of 82 to 220 g (2.5 to 7.8 ounces). The ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) is the largest hawk species. They are 51 to 69 cm (20 to 27 inches) long and 1 to 2 kg (2 to 4.5 pounds) in weight.

 Hawks are 7.9 to 27 inches long and have a body weight of 2.5 ounces to 4 pounds.

Hawks hunt and eat small creatures such as Small birds, mice, squirrels, frogs, snakes, insects, rabbits, lizards, crabs, etc.

The hawk has a grip strength of around 200 psi. It can lift a pray of around 4 pounds.

Some species lay 1 to 2 eggs at a time. But most hawks lay 2 to 5 eggs. Hawks make their nest on high trees.

What is Eagle?

The Eagle is a large and majestic bird of the Accipitridae family. They have large heads and beaks. They are carnivores and a top-level eater in the food chain. They are considered Apex predators.

Like all other birds of prey, eagles have large hooked beaks that can rip the flesh from their prey, strong and muscular legs, and powerful talons.

The eagle is a large bird. The smallest species, named South Nicobar serpent eagle (Spilornis klossi) is 450 g (1 lb) in weight and 40 cm (16 in) in length. On the other hand, the Philippine eagle’s (Pithecophaga jefferyi) weight ranges from 3.6 – 8.2 kilograms (8-18 lb) and is around 100 cm (3.3 feet) in length.

An adult eagle can hunt even medium animals. They eat Small birds, waterfowl, squirrels, prairie dogs, raccoons, rabbits, fish, frogs, snakes, lizards, and even small deer.

Many eagles can lift up to 20 pounds. An adult eagle has a grip of 400 psi.

Some eagles make their nest on high trees, and some on cliffsides. Eagles’ nests are called Eyries. Eagles lay 1 or 2 eggs at a time.

Difference Between Hawk and Eagle

The eagle and hawk both are birds of the Accipitridae family. Both have a lot in common. But their differences are easily distinguishable.

The eagle is larger than the hawk. The largest species of the eagle can be up to 100 cm or 3.3 feet in length, while the largest hawk can be 69 cm or 27 inches.

The weight of both the Eagle and Hawk have a large difference too. The largest hawk can be up to 2 kg, while an eagle can be up to 8.2 kg.

The physical power of the two also varies a lot. Eagle can lift around 9 kg. while a hawk can lift up to 1.8 kg. This creates a difference in their diet and hunting traits too.

Comparison Between Hawk and Eagle

Parameters of ComparisonHawkEagle
Position in the food chainSecondary level eater.Top-level eater. Apex predator.
Size23 to 69 cm in length.40 to 100 cm in length.
Weight82 g to 2 kg.450 g to 8.2 kg.
ReproductionMost species lay 2-5 eggs at a time.Lays 1-2 eggs each time.
DietEats insects and small creatures.Eats small and medium creatures.