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Falcon vs. Eagle: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 7, 2023
Falcons are generally smaller, swifter fliers while eagles are larger with impressive wingspans. Both symbolize freedom and majesty.

Key Differences

Falcons, generally smaller and more streamlined, are notable for their incredible speed, often identified in high-speed dives during hunting. Eagles, in contrast, exude power and might, often portrayed soaring high with substantial wingspans, embodying freedom and domination in various cultures.
A falcon’s beak is characterized by a notable "tooth" on its lower mandible that is adept for severing prey's spinal cords. Conversely, an eagle’s beak, robust and hooked, signifies a design perfect for tearing flesh, illustrating the predatory prowess of these raptors.
In symbolism, falcons often represent visionary power and tenacity, predominantly owing to their hunting prowess and acute vision. Eagles, globally symbolizing freedom and high perspective, are often associated with power, courage, and transcendence, embodying a metaphor for rising above.
In falconry, falcons are celebrated for their speed and precision, typically hunted with by skilled falconers who admire their adept hunting prowess. Eagles, although not as commonly utilized in falconry, are symbolic displays of might and prestige when trained, exhibiting a commanding presence in the ancient sport.
In literature and heraldry, the falcon often emerges as a symbol of nimbleness and lethal precision, ingraining a sense of awe in the reader or observer. The eagle, on the other hand, finds itself represented as an emblem of imperial power and authority, manifesting often in the insignia of empires and nations.

Comparison Chart

Size & Build

Smaller and more streamlined.
Larger and robust with broad wings.

Beak Structure

Notched beak with a "tooth" for killing.
Strong, hooked beak for tearing flesh.


Often symbolizes focus and speed.
Represents power, freedom, and majesty.

Hunting Style

Known for fast and agile hunting.
Demonstrates power and strength in hunting.

Role in Literature

Depicted as sharp and strategic.
Illustrated as regal and imposing.

Falcon and Eagle Definitions


The falcon symbolizes keen vision and focus in various cultural and spiritual contexts.
To the ancient Egyptians, the falcon, embodied by the god Horus, symbolized royal power and the sun.


Symbolically, eagles often represent freedom, strength, and nobility in various cultures.
The emblem of the nation featured a proud eagle, symbolizing the citizens' unyielding spirit and freedom.


A falcon is a bird of prey known for its exceptional speed and hunting prowess.
The falcon swooped down at astonishing speed, securing its prey within its talons.


An eagle is a large, powerful bird of prey known for its strength and majestic flight.
The eagle soared above the mountains, its sharp eyes scanning the terrain below for prey.


In historical context, falcons were a symbol of status among the nobility, especially in falconry.
The nobleman’s falcon was a majestic creature, trained to return to his gloved hand after a successful hunt.


Eagles usually possess a robust, hooked beak, suited for tearing apart their catch efficiently.
With its hooked beak, the eagle effortlessly tore into the fish, enjoying its meal atop a high perch.


In literature and pop culture, falcons often symbolize strategic and sharp-minded characters.
In the film, the detective’s pet falcon became symbolic of his sharp, focused investigative skills.


In mythology and heraldry, the eagle often symbolizes divine spirit and the highest of aspirations.
The ancient Romans revered the eagle as a messenger of the gods, representing victory and dominance.


Falcons possess a specialized beak featuring a "tooth" for efficiently dispatching their prey.
The falcon utilized its specialized beak to expertly sever the spinal cord of the small rodent.


Eagles often build large nests, known as eyries, typically situated on high cliffs or tall structures.
High above the river, the eagle tended to its young, secure in the towering eyrie.


Any of various birds of prey of the family Falconidae and especially of the genus Falco, having a short, curved beak and long, pointed, powerful wings adapted for swift flight.


Any of various large diurnal birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, including members of the genera Aquila and Haliaeetus, characterized by broad wings, a hooked bill, keen vision, and soaring flight.


Any of several birds of these or related species, such as hawks, trained to hunt small game.


A representation of an eagle used as an emblem or insignia.


What do falcons symbolize in ancient Egypt?

Falcons, specifically linked to the god Horus, symbolized royalty, power, and the sun.

What is falconry?

Falconry is an ancient sport involving the hunting of wild animals using trained birds of prey.

How big can a falcon get?

The largest falcons, like the Gyrfalcon, can have a wingspan of up to 160 cm.

How are the beaks of falcons and eagles different?

Falcons have a notched beak with a "tooth," while eagles have a strong, hooked beak.

Which is faster, a falcon or an eagle?

Falcons, specifically Peregrine Falcons, are faster, reaching speeds of over 240 mph in a dive.

What does the eagle symbolize in the United States?

The eagle, particularly the Bald Eagle, symbolizes freedom, strength, and independence.

Where do eagles typically build their nests?

Eagles often build nests in high places like cliffs, trees, or man-made structures.

How fast can a falcon fly?

The Peregrine Falcon can reach speeds over 240 mph during a dive.

Can both falcons and eagles be found in the same habitats?

Yes, falcons and eagles can often be found in similar habitats, such as mountains, deserts, and forests.

What is the key physical difference between a falcon and an eagle?

Falcons are generally smaller and sleeker, while eagles are larger with broader wings.

Are falcons found worldwide?

Yes, falcons are found on every continent except Antarctica.

Are eagles endangered?

Some eagle species are endangered, while others have stable populations.

Do eagles have predators?

Eagles, especially when young or infirm, may fall prey to other eagles, large mammals, or humans.

Can falcons be trained by humans?

Yes, falcons have been trained by humans for hunting for centuries.

Are eagles used in falconry?

Yes, some eagles are used in falconry, particularly in certain Asian traditions.

What do falcons typically eat?

Falcons primarily eat other birds but may also consume small mammals.

Do eagles mate for life?

Many eagle species mate for life, maintaining a monogamous relationship.

How many species of eagles are there?

There are about 60 species of eagles worldwide.

How does a falcon kill its prey?

Falcons typically kill with a swift bite to the neck of their prey.

Are eagles revered in any cultures?

Yes, eagles are revered in many cultures as symbols of freedom, power, and transcendence.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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