animals that eat hawks

Animals that Eat Hawks: Top 8 Predators that Eat Hawks

Hawks are deadly creatures, and they’re notorious for their avid hunting habits. They have a keen sense of sight that helps them find their next prey as they perch over everything, from skyscrapers to lamp posts and trees.

They’re not always the predators because, like other creatures, even hawks get into situations where the hunter becomes the hunted.

You’ll be surprised by a couple of menacing animals that eat hawks and can put the bird under them in the food chain.

Read on to find out which animals can turn hawks into dinner.

What Are the Animals That Eat Hawks?

While adult hawks are intimidating creatures that always believe they’re at the top of their food chain, unfortunately, there are a few animals that humble them.

Not all of them are birds either, as a few land animals will eat hawks if given a chance.

Surprisingly, eight animals in total can put hawks on their menu.

1. Eagles

eagle attacking

Eagles are big birds, aggressive too, and when a hawk comes into an area where an eagle reigns supreme, a struggle is inevitable.

The issue arises because the two species tend to feed on the same creatures and birds in the same area, which will lead to them fighting for resources.

Since golden and bald eagles are bigger and stronger than hawks, you can be sure that a fight will happen in one form or another over food and the right to feed in an area.

Eagles don’t have to wait for hawks to fully develop either, as it’s not strange to see eagles attack younger hawks because they end up being easier prey and one less challenger to worry about.

Author Note: Eagles will also attack hawk nests, as they make simple targets to find food and push adult hawks from the area.

2. Raccoons

angry raccoon

Raccoons are scavengers through and through, and while you might be scratching your head on how these mammals could take on hawks, they don’t.

Their diet comprises easy targets, like fish, nuts, berries, insects, sometimes smaller animals, and eggs. The last one is where hawks come into play.

Raccoons are skilled climbers and are willing to do anything to get their next meal as their survival depends on it. So climbing a huge tree to get to a hawks’ nest for their eggs is something they do in the wild.

They’re resilient and will risk their lives to get up there to get some of those delicious hawk eggs.

That being said, not all their attacks are successful, as the raccoons can misjudge if there’s a parent present or not, which leads to awkward confrontations and injuries sustained.

3. Owls

owl pouncing

Owls are impressive predators, and while hawks aren’t usually scared of them, they tend to fear Great Horned Owls.

Great Horned Owls are impressively large birds who like their territories free from other predators that can take a part of the owl’s resources.

So it’s easy to understand that if a hawk comes invading a territory with a Great Horned Owl, things will get messy between them.

Not to mention, these majestic owls will put a target on hawks’ backs and will hunt them down because they are considered a good source of food for them.

Author Note: Another factor to consider is that owls are nocturnal creatures, while hawks hunt in the morning. So when owls attack them in the dark of night, hawks don’t know what hit them.

This makes it very dangerous for the hawks, especially since owls tend to have a silent flying pattern, which puts the hawks in a scary and defenseless situation.

4. Red Foxes

red fox hunting

These little guys tend to look out for smaller prey as their primary food source, but they will add bigger animals to their hunting list when little to no food is found.

Foxes are excellent hunters, and they’ll set out to look for new prey when they need to. However, while they wouldn’t go toe to toe with an adult hawk, they can pounce on smaller ones.

Foxes will sneak up and hunt young hawks who are still grasping the concept of flying and aren’t confident enough to defend themselves.

Not only that, but foxes will also take a page out of the raccoon’s playbook.

A fox would look for hawk nests that are low enough and wait. When the adult hawks leave the nests, that’s when they raid it for easy prey, such as a young hawk or eggs.

Another way foxes hunt hawks is when hawks get desperate and eat carrion on the ground, foxes would sneak up on them and pounce for an easy meal.

5. Bigger Hawks

bigger hawk attacking

It’s the simplest circle of life concept; birds get attacked by bigger birds, especially when those have sharp talons and are looking for food.

There are different types of hawk species that vary in size. Bigger hawks behave like eagles and will attack smaller ones when given a chance.

Fully-developed or larger hawks will attack smaller ones in the same area to challenge them for control of that territory and look for food, especially if there’s a shortage of it.

It’s all about dominance and marking territories when it comes to big raptors, so if another creature crosses that line, they will retaliate and eat it too.

One of these larger hawks is the Goshawk, which is a very territorial creature. Even though its diet primarily focuses on smaller creatures and birds, it’s not uncommon for it to search for other hawks and attack them for food.

6. Wolves

wolf with prey

Wolves don’t regularly target birds; they’re more into mammals, especially big ones, so they could feed the whole pack.

That being said, it’s not unheard of to find wolves diversifying their menu. This happens due to the scarcity of food during certain parts of the year. It could also occur when areas don’t have their usual prey.

Top Tip: Wolves will look for what’s best for the pack, even resorting to eating carrion but only if they absolutely have to.

Wolves won’t chase hawks up trees or anything like that. However, if they find an injured hawk and they can’t find any other source of food, they’re not going to let a meal go to waste.

7. Snakes

coiled rattlesnake

You might be asking yourself, how would a snake attack a hawk when it’s way down on the ground? Well, the answer is simple, the snake is the one that’s going up.

Yes, some snake species, like Golden Lanceheads, Rattlesnakes, Brown Tree Snakes, and others, are very agile tree climbers and will easily tread up a high trunk to hunt for hawk eggs.

Author Note: It’s a scary thought, but snakes can slither and wrap themselves around trees and propel themselves upwards, reaching incredible heights.

Snakes, you see, love eating eggs, sneaking into barns and bird nests close to the ground to feed on them.

They’ll also climb up trees and look for unattended hawks’ nests, or any birds’ for that matter. Up there, they’ll get into these nests and eat the eggs along with any young hawks while the adults are away.

8. Coyotes

coyote eating hawk

Coyotes will eat almost anything when push comes to shove; they aren’t that picky of an animal. Their diet consists of small animals like rabbits, rodents, as well as insects, lizards, and snakes, along with some fruits and plants, thanks to them being omnivores.

They also eat carrion, which means that if a dead animal’s body crosses their path, they’ll most likely consume it, which includes dead birds and hawks.

Like wolves, coyotes won’t directly hunt hawks, but if an injured one is found, it’s going to end up being lunch. That’s just how nature goes, and coyotes are notorious for being opportunistic feeders!

They’re one of the most common species of animals that eat hawks.

How Do Hawks Defend Themselves?

Keep in mind that the previously mentioned hunters only attack hawks when they’re all living in the same ecosystem, or are in a habitat that allows it. So, don’t expect a snake to be able to reach a hawk’s nest if it has it on the top of a skyscraper.

That being said, hawks still put effort into protecting themselves and their nests wherever they are. They’re prone to eagle attacks anywhere, and they know it.

Hawks build their nests with high barriers in tall trees in hopes that predators like snakes and raccoons wouldn’t be able to climb up and get into them.

They also have razor-sharp talons and beaks, which makes them a force to be reckoned with. They can easily injure any animal if the conditions are in their favor.

That’s why most predators that target their nests tend to attack when the parents aren’t present because they are aware that if they go up against an adult hawk, they’ll end up injured badly.

Adult hawks tend to fight ferociously and do their best to stay with their young after they have eggs, at least leaving one parent at a time while the other looks for food.

However, there are moments when both parents leave the nest, especially when food is scarce, which ends up leaving the younglings exposed.

We hope you enjoyed this article on animals that eat hawks.

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