Birds of Prey
Hawks are carnivores (meat eaters) who belong to the category of
birds known as raptors -- birds of prey. They have strong, hooked
beaks; their feet have three toes pointed forward and one turned back;
and their claws, or talons, are long, curved and very sharp. Prey
is killed with the long talons and, if it is too large to swallow
whole, it is torn to bite-sized pieces with the hawk's beak.
What to do with an injured bird!
If you have an injured bird, here's what to do:
Call the Humane Society and find a registered, licensed
wildlife rehabilitation facility as soon as you can.
Follow their instructions.
If you don't know what species of hawk or bird it is, it will be difficult
to feed it properly.
All hawks are protected by state and federal laws. It is illegal to
capture or kill a hawk, or to possess a hawk, alive or dead, without proper
permits from local state governments as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
I know that you care because you have taken the time to check this
page, so please get the bird to a rehabilitation facility as soon as you
How to Distinguish Between Raptor Species
the soaring hawks, have blocky bodies, broad wings and short tails.
Their characteristic hunting strategy involves soaring high over open
country, then dropping to the ground to seize prey. See Red-tailed
Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Rough-legged
Hawk, Swainson's Hawk.
Accipiters, the woodland hawks,
have short, rounded wings and long tails. These adaptations allow them
to maneuver quickly among trees after birds and small mammals. Their
tails usually have light and dark bars. See Sharp-shinned
Hawk, Cooper's Hawk.
have long, slim wings which taper to pointed tips. In flight
the wings angle back at the wrists and wing beats are rapid. Falcon
bodies are sleek; they have very round heads and long, narrow tails.
Most falcons have noticeable patterns on their faces, such as the two
cheek "sideburns" of the kestrel. See Kestrel,
are very large and can be distinguished from other raptors by
their size and proportionately large, broad wings. They soar, often
at great heights, and have slow, deliberate wing beats.