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Interesting Facts about How Hawks Hunt Their Prey

If you need to draw inspiration from nature, it could be by looking at how hawks hunt their prey. Hawks are one of the fascinating birds with distinct varieties that have survived eons of years.

Perhaps the most enthralling thing about this bird that you may want to look closely at is how they hunt for food. You can agree that this topic is another world on its own, right?


How Do Hawks Hunt Their Food?

Some birds hunt their food on the ground, while others fly from a perch and attack prey. Hawks are in the latter group. As there are varieties of Hawks, the way they choose to attack their prey might be different. However, all outlined here indicate a general tactic common to all Hawks.

Another thing is that hawks may also change their hunting behaviors according to the season, weather, or the types of prey they want to hit on. Below, I will be highlighting 5 ways observed about how hawks take their prey.

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1) The High-Soaring Technique

This is quite common with almost all types of hawks. With this method, the hawk flies up high into the sky, goes round in thermals, and has a perfect chance at observing a potential prey.

Again, this technique, common with huge hawks like red-tailed hawks, allows it to get around a large distance without expending too much energy. This technique can be compared to one of the best ak 47 scope you’d employ if you’re learning how to shoot.

While observing, the hawk may flap its large wings soaring high and even let out a shrill scream. You might think it wants to alert its prey to safety? Yes, it does alert its prey. But the advantage is that its prey becomes stressed, making it easier for the hawk to overpower it.

Most times, the hawk uses this technique in open landscapes, hunting for large prey like rabbits and ground squirrels.

2) The Low-Soaring Technique

This technique is common with smaller hawks like harris hawks and northern-harriers hawks. They like to use this technique for prey in open fields and meadows. They do soar lower than they would and then glide rapidly towards their catch.

The hawk glides as it moves to its prey.

Of course, this particular method takes the prey by surprise, and they scurry away in fear. Do you know the weather condition most favorable for this technique? Windy times! Windy weather aids the smooth glide of the hawk.

3) Hover and Pounce Technique

With this style, what the hawk does is soar low. That low altitude is to enable it to observe its prey on a landscape. Then it stops at a particular point, flaps its wings, hovers over the air, and dives to pounce on prey.

Hawks usually use this technique to catch a small mammal, like a vole or rat. You may readily learn from this technique if you’re taking shooting lessons on how to sight in a red dot scope without shooting. You could also watch some videos on youtube to understand how to apply this technique.

4) Perch and Swoop Technique

For this technique, the hawk doesn’t have to soar high or low or hover anywhere. The locations mostly used for this don’t even allow it. What the hawk does is perch on a tree, then survey the environment.

When the hawk uses this technique, one may think they’re resting, but the bird doesn’t rest that way. If you rear chicks in your backyard, you may readily be able to observe this hunting method.

The hawk perches on a tree and conserves energy while at it; then, when its prey becomes active around the environment, it swoops down to catch it.

5) Aerial Pursuit

This style of hawk hunt is commonly used by Sharp-shinned hawks and Cooper’s hawks.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk

Unlike other techniques in open fields and landscapes or close ranges, this technique can be used in dense forests. It combines speed and acrobatics, taking its prey by surprise.   


There are many lessons to learn from studying the different techniques of a hawk hunt. If you rear birds in a homestead backyard, you may need to be particularly careful. If you’re also learning how to shoot, you could benefit from learning how the hawk hunts.  

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