Difference WikiAnimals

Difference Between Hawk and Falcon

Main Difference

The main difference between Hawk and Falcon is that Hawk is bigger with wider wings that are rounded from ends, whereas Falcon is smaller in size with long wings that are lean and have pointed ends.

Hawk vs. Falcon

The flight pattern of hawks is slow as they flap their wings frequently and steadily, and they use to glide more, but the falcons have faster flight patterns comparatively as they flap their wings quickly, and they use to glide for a short moment.

The size of a hawk is larger, and it varies from 30 to 35 cm, but the size of a falcon is comparatively smaller which, varies from 25 to 30 cm. The significance of hawk involves its remarkable eyesight and the potential of hunting, whereas the fastest flying ability of about 300 km per hour makes falcon significant.

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The wings of the hawk are shorter and wider, which are round from ends; therefore, they fly slower, but the wings of falcon are leaner, long which have pointy ends; therefore, the fastest flying bird recorded is a peregrine falcon with 60 mph speed and gliding 200 mph. The beak of a hawk is normally curvy, but the beak of falcon contains a notch that helps them to grab and stab their prey.

The hawk grabs and kills prey by the help of claws, which are called nails, whereas the falcon grabs its prey with the help of beak. If the head is observed from a diagonal angle, the shape of the hawk’s head is smooth and pointed, including accipiters, buteos, whereas the falcon’s head is small and round. The color variations in the hawk species vary from grey to reddish from above and white from below of body, but the falcon color varies from black to silver, white or red.

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Comparison Chart

HawkFalcon
It is a species of bird that belongs to Accipitrinae family with wide, rounded wings and a long tail.It is a species of bird that belongs to Falconidae family with long, pointed wings and a long tail.
Species
About 250About 37
Size
Varies 30 to 35 cmVaries 25 to 30 cm
Wings
Wide wings with rounded endsLong, lean wings with pointed ends
Beak
A curve on the beakA notch on the beak
Flight Pattern
Beat wings steadily and use to glide moreFlap wings frequently and use o glide for a short time
Grabbing Prey
By using talonsBy using beaks
Head
Sleek and pointedShort and rounded
Color
The top is grey to reddish-brown, and the bottom is whiteBlack, silver, white or red
Prey
Rabbits, rats, mice, gophers, and grasshoppersBirds like doves and pigeons
Nesting
On trees and rocky cliffsOn tower and buildings
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What is Hawk?

A hawk is a specie of bird that is a member of the Accipitridae family, which includes some breeds like Accipiter, Megatriorchis, Micronisus, and Melierax. The class Accipiter includes one of the commonest hawks, e.g., sparrowhawks, goshawks, and sharp-shinned hawks. But the Accipiter hawks are the most common ones being the largest genus.

Hawks are habitats of woodlands, and the main characteristics include long tail and very sharp eyesight. The hunting abilities of Hawk also include the hurling of a hidden fish. According to Louis Lefebvre, a Canadian ornithologist discovered a way to estimate bird’s IQ level by calculating its revolution related to habits of feeding, and they were declared most intelligent among birds.

Hawks are heavily populated as they are present worldwide other than Antarctica. There are about 270 species of Hawk, and their size varies from one specie to others, measuring more than 22 inches length and above 5-pound weight. Among the hawks, the female hawks are bigger than the male ones.

The eyesight of a hawk has the ability of tetrachromacy, which enables them to respond to four kinds of colors; this allows hawks to respond to visible light as well as ultraviolet, polarized and magnetic field. The anatomy behind these qualities are excessive photoreceptors present in the retina and a deliberate fovea, which enlarge the visual field; therefore, it can locate 100 feet distant prey. They are day time hunters, therefore considered as diurnal animals.

What is Falcon?

The Falcon is a specie of bird that is the member of class Falconidae, and long wings characterize these species with pointed ends and strong beaks. These wings result in faster flight with effortless changing in direction and make them the fastest animal worldwide. The beaks of a falcon have the ability to crack the neck of its prey and help them to catch, claw, and rip the flesh.

The Falconidae family further comprises of other species such as caracaras, and all these species have a distinct characteristic of a tooth that is present inside the beak, which helps them to kill their prey with beaks, unlike other birds. Gyrfalcon is the largest one measure 65 cm length and weighs between 2-4.5 pounds (0.9-2 kg). And kestrels are the smallest ones (25 cm length). They manifest sexual dimorphism in a way that female size in larger than males.

Falcons have a lifetime between 12 to 20 yrs, but exceptional can live about 25 years. Generally, they possess a dark brown color, but grey can also be seen in some species as well. As they are carnivorous, they mainly feed on rodents, small insects, and fish, etc. Visually, falcons have a sight eight times stronger than human eyesight. As falcons are fattest birds, the fastest speed recorded is above 242 mph (389 km/h).

Key Differences

  1. The flight pattern of hawks is slow as they flap their wings slowly, and they use to glide more; conversely, the falcons have faster flight patterns as they flap their wings quickly, and they use to glide for a short time.
  2. The number species of the hawk are more than 250; on the other hand, the falcon has 37 species.
  3. The size of a hawk is larger, varies from (30 to 35 cm) on the flip side the size of a falcon is comparatively smaller, varies from (25 to 30 cm).
  4. The wings of the hawk are shorter and wider, which are round from ends, but the wings of falcon are leaner, long, which have pointy ends.
  5. The beak of a hawk is normally curvy; on the other hand, the beak of falcon contains a notch.
  6. The hawk grabs and kills its prey by the help of claws, called talons; conversely, the falcon grabs its prey with the help of beak.
  7. On observation of the head from a diagonal angle, the shape of the hawk’s head is smooth and pointed, whereas the falcon’s head is small and round.
  8. The nests of hawks are large that are usually present on rocky cliffs and trees; on the other hand, the nests of falcon are present on manufactured structures like buildings and towers.
  9. The white and blue color differentiates the eggs of hawks with brown marks on them whereas, the white color with brown marks differentiates the eggs of the falcon.
  10. Hawks lay two to seven eggs, while falcons lay three to four eggs.

Conclusion

Both Hawk and Falcon are largely populated species of birds with long tails, but the shape of their wings differentiates them; Hawk possesses broad, rounded end wings, but Falcons posses long leaner pointed wings. Hawks size is larger than Falcons.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson