Home » What Eats Hawks? Discover the Main Hawk Predators and Uncover the Unexpected Predator

What Eats Hawks? Discover the Main Hawk Predators and Uncover the Unexpected Predator

by Clara Lai

What Eats Hawks: The Main Hawk Predators

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the wild world of hawks? Well, get ready to dive into the thrilling realm of the hawk predators! From soaring birds of prey to cunning ground dwellers, these fearless hunters are always on the prowl for a feathered feast. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the main predators that make hawks their mealtime target. So, buckle up and prepare to be amazed by the unexpected, the unlikely, and even the audacious crows that have a taste for hawks. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this wild ride!

The Predators of Hawks: A Closer Look

When you gaze at hawks adorning the clear blue sky with their majestic wings, it’s hard to imagine that these formidable birds of prey could fall victim to other predators. But even the mighty hawk has to watch its back. The hawk’s predators vary from other formidable birds of prey to ground-dwelling animals and, surprisingly, even to its own species.

Let’s delve into the world of hawks and discover the threats they face. It’s a reminder that the natural world is a complex tapestry of interconnected relationships, where even the predator can become the prey.

PredatorMain Attack Method
EaglesUtilize their size and strength to overpower hawks
OwlsUse the cover of night to attack unsuspecting hawks
CoyotesOften target young hawks or injured adults
SnakesCan pose a threat to eggs and young chicks
RaccoonsCan climb trees to raid hawk nests
CrowsOften attack hawks as a group, using numbers to their advantage

And yes, you read that correctly. Crows, those seemingly harmless birds you often see in your backyard, are actually one of the most unexpected predators of hawks. Their strategy is a fascinating example of strength in numbers. But more on that in the upcoming section.

Also, while it may seem shocking, hawks can be cannibalistic under certain circumstances. Larger species such as the Goshawk have been known to eat smaller hawks when other prey are scarce. This is a stark reminder of the harsh realities of life in the wild and the relentless struggle for survival.

Whether it’s the shadow of an eagle overhead, the stealthy approach of a snake, or the unexpected assault from a mob of crows, hawks must constantly be on alert. Their position on the food chain may not be as secure as one might think. Stay tuned as we explore the surprising predators that challenge the dominance of hawks in the following sections.

Other Birds of Prey: The Majestic Yet Deadly Predators of Hawks

The dance of survival in the wild is often a fierce and unending ballet, with hawks playing a significant part. They are formidable hunters, but not invincible. The sky, their dominion, also harbors their most dangerous adversaries. Among these, the regal eagles reign supreme, a constant shadow of threat hovering above the hawks.

With their superior size and strength, eagles are akin to the titans of the skies, making them formidable predators. It’s a chilling sight, watching an eagle swoop down with deadly precision to pick off a young or even an adult hawk. The raw power and dominance of the eagle over the hawks is a stark reminder of the unforgiving laws of nature.

But danger for hawks doesn’t only come in daylight. The cover of night brings its own set of perils. Owls, the silent assassins of the night, exploit this vulnerability. With their nocturnal habits and stealthy hunting skills, they primarily target the defenseless hawk babies nestled in their nests, symbolizing the brutal reality of survival in the wild.

Interestingly, in the harsh world of survival of the fittest, hawks sometimes face threats from their own kind. While it might seem counterintuitive, when food sources are scarce, hawks can turn on each other. Although such instances are rare, they offer a glimpse of the extreme measures that these birds of prey might resort to when pushed to their limits.

In the intricate web of the food chain, hawks are both hunters and hunted, navigating through the challenges that each day in the wild presents. Their encounters with other birds of prey, while often perilous, are an integral part of the balance of nature.

The Ground Predators: Unseen Threats to Hawks

In the vast wilderness, the threats to a hawk’s existence are not limited to the skies. While hawks are known for their aerial prowess, their vulnerability increases significantly when they descend to the ground. A variety of terrestrial predators lie in wait, ready to seize any opportunity that presents itself.

Coyotes and Foxes: Opportunistic Predators


Among the most cunning of these ground predators are coyotes and foxes. These opportunistic hunters have been known to prey on hawks when they find them grounded. This usually includes stray baby hawks that have not yet mastered their flight skills or injured hawks incapable of taking to the skies. Foxes, although they lack the means to catch high-flying hawks, have been observed feasting on hawk corpses, a stark reminder of the unforgiving laws of nature.

Read more: What Eats Vultures? Discover the Top 8 Predators that Prey on Vultures

Similarly, mountain lions, apex predators in their own right, also pose a threat. However, their ability to harm hawks is limited by their lack of altitude climbing abilities, rendering high-flying hawks safe from their predatory intentions.

Raccoons: The Non-Flying Threat

Intriguingly, of all the ground predators, it’s the raccoons that pose the most substantial threat to hawks, particularly in desert environments. While raccoons may not immediately come to mind when discussing hawk predators, their ability to climb trees with remarkable ease makes them a unique menace.

Despite their unassuming size, raccoons are formidable opponents, even for larger hawks. Their audacious nature and agility allow them to invade hawk nests, often located in high trees or cliff edges. The threat they pose is not to be underestimated, highlighting the diverse range of predators hawks must contend with in their struggle for survival.

The Unlikely Predators


In the game of survival, sometimes it’s the unexpected adversaries that pose an interesting twist. Picture a wolf, paws firmly planted on the rugged terrain, its sharp eyes locked onto a distant hawk soaring in the sky. It’s a peculiar image, isn’t it? Wolves, known for their hunting prowess on land, are not typically associated with preying on creatures of the sky. However, the reality is that wolves occasionally eat hawks.

Wolves are primarily terrestrial hunters, preferring to stalk elk, moose, and other large mammals. Their strategy revolves around endurance hunting, using their stamina to wear down their prey over long distances. So, when it comes to hawks, these high-flying birds appear almost untouchable to the wolves.

However, should fortune land a sick or injured hawk within a wolf’s reach, or a stray baby hawk is found unprotected, the wolf will not hesitate to make a meal of it. Yet, given the rarity of such occurrences, wolves are not considered primary predators of hawks.

The same goes for the king of the jungle. The majestic lion, despite its fearsome reputation, does not actively hunt hawks. It’s not out of respect or fear, but a simple matter of the lion’s hunting strategy. Lions are ambush predators, relying on stealth and strength rather than speed. The elusive, high-flying hawks are, for the most part, beyond a lion’s reach.

However, the laws of the wild are unpredictable. If a hawk were to drop dead near a hungry lion, the big cat wouldn’t turn down the unexpected meal. But such instances are as rare as a snowfall in the savannah, rendering lions an unlikely predator of hawks.

These examples serve to illustrate that while hawks are formidable predators in their own right, they are not invincible. Their survival is a delicate balance, constantly challenged not only by the expected predators but also by unlikely ones.

The Unexpected Predator: Crows

Carrion crow (Corvus corone) black bird perched on branch and looking at camera


In the grand scheme of nature’s intricate web, one of the most unexpected adversaries to the formidable hawk is none other than the humble crow. Yes, you read that right. The crow, often underestimated due to its size, has proven to be a surprising predator of hawks.

Now, you might be wondering, how can a crow, a bird significantly smaller than a hawk, pose a threat to such a powerful bird of prey? Here’s where it gets interesting. It’s not a single crow that poses the threat, but a mob of crows.

While a hawk could easily kill a single crow without breaking a sweat, a mob of crows is an entirely different story. Crows, despite their size, display remarkable courage and aggression when their territory is threatened. They band together, forming what is referred to as a ‘murder of crows’. This united front attacks the invading hawk with relentless tenacity.

The reason behind this aggressive behavior? It’s largely due to the territorial nature of crows and their fierce protective instincts towards their young. Their collective strength and strategic attack patterns can overwhelm a hawk, leading to its untimely demise.

It’s a fascinating spectacle of nature that underscores the power of unity and serves as a stark reminder that size isn’t everything. The seemingly small and insignificant crow, in large numbers, can become a formidable opponent, even to the mighty hawk.

Thus, it is not surprising that hawks tend to steer clear of crows, avoiding unnecessary confrontations. Hunting crows for food isn’t a preferred choice for hawks, given the risk involved. This unique predator-prey dynamic between crows and hawks is a testament to the complex and unexpected interactions that occur in the wild.

Hawks as a Delicacy: A Controversial Culinary Practice

While the predator-prey dynamics of the wild are undoubtedly compelling, involving unlikely characters like crows, there exists another threat to hawks that is less natural and far more controversial. This threat originates not from the animal kingdom, but from the human world. In certain regions of our planet, hawks have come to be seen not as majestic predators soaring in the sky, but as a source of food, a delicacy to be savored and enjoyed.

It might be hard to fathom, but the dark, almost bland meat of hawks has found a place on dining tables in some cultures. The taste of their flesh, similar to most birds of prey, requires a generous application of spices to transform it into a palatable dish. It’s a culinary preference that speaks volumes about the diversity of human diets around the world. However, this practice is not without its repercussions.

“Just as the crows band together to protect their territory from hawks, we too must take collective responsibility to safeguard these magnificent birds.”

Despite the existence of international laws aimed at protecting hawks and other birds of prey, hunting these creatures remains a grave problem. These laws, though well-intended, often fall short when confronted with the harsh realities of poaching and illegal wildlife trade. Hawks are mercilessly hunted down and sold in markets, their lives reduced to a price tag.

Recognizing the importance of these powerful birds in the ecosystem and the role they play as predators, it is crucial that we continue to raise awareness about their plight. Their fate, in many ways, lies in our hands. By understanding the threats they face, from cunning crows to human appetites, we can better appreciate their place in the natural world and the need to protect them.

The story of the hawk serves as a stark reminder of the intricate and often unexpected interactions that shape life on Earth. The predator can become the prey, and the hunted can become a delicacy. It’s an ongoing narrative, one that continues to evolve with each passing day.


In the intricate dance of the wild, even the most powerful predators like hawks are not immune to the circle of life. They, too, are prey to threats that defy their predatory prowess. From the skies to the ground, from birds to mammals, these majestic raptors face an array of adversaries. Yet, it’s not just about survival, but a testament to the complex dynamics and interactions that paint the vibrant canvas of our natural world.

Imagine a hawk soaring high above, its sharp eyes scanning the ground below for a meal. It is in its element, a natural predator. But the sky is not just its hunting ground; it’s also a battlefield. Other birds of prey, such as eagles and owls, are among its primary threats. These aerial rivals, equipped with their own formidable strength and hunting skills, challenge the hawk’s dominion in the skies.

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But the threats are not confined to the aerial realm. On the ground, they are at risk from terrestrial predators like coyotes and raccoons. Their nests, often perched in high trees, can be raided by stealthy climbers like snakes. Even their own kin, in times of scarcity, can turn into rivals.

But perhaps, one of the most unexpected adversaries comes from a rather small and unassuming bird – the crow. Despite their size, these black-feathered birds display a remarkable courage and aggression when their territory is threatened, forming a collective known as a ‘murder of crows’ to fend off their hawk invaders. This unlikely predator underscores the surprising interactions that occur in nature’s grand theater.

Yet, the dangers to hawks are not just from the natural world. Humans, too, pose a significant threat. In certain cultures, hawks are hunted as a delicacy, despite international laws protecting them. The illegal wildlife trade also casts a shadow over their existence.

Understanding these complex dynamics is not just a fascinating study of nature; it is crucial for the conservation of these apex predators. By appreciating their role and the challenges they face in the ecosystem, we can better protect them and ensure their survival for future generations. The story of the hawk is a compelling reminder of the intricate, unpredictable, and beautiful relationships in the natural world.

What are the main predators of hawks?

The main predators of hawks are other birds of prey, such as eagles and bigger hawks. Coyotes and raccoons also pose a threat to hawks.

Which animals are the top predators of hawks in the rainforest?

In the rainforest, the major predators of hawks are eagles, bigger hawks, owls, and raccoons.

What are the top predators of hawks in the desert?

In the desert, the top predators of hawks are bigger hawks, owls, raccoons, and eagles. Raccoons are the only non-flying animal that poses a threat to hawks in the desert.

Do eagles target both young and adult hawks?

Yes, eagles are one of the major predators of hawks and they target both young and adult hawks.

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