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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes

The term hawk can be used in several ways:

Immature Northern Goshawk with fresh kill
Hawk sighted in Toronto in front of the Fields Institute.

The common names of birds in various parts of the world often use hawk in the second sense. For example, the Osprey or "fish hawk"; or, in North America, the various Buteo species (e.g., the Red-tailed Hawk, B. jamaicensis).

In February 2005, the Canadian ornithologist Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian "IQ" in terms of their innovation in feeding habits.[1] Hawks were named among the most intelligent birds based on his scale.

Hawks are widely reputed to have visual acuity several times that of a normal human being. This is due to the many photoreceptors in the retina (up to 1,000,000 per square mm for Buteo, against 200,000 for humans), an exceptional number of nerves connecting these receptors to the brain, and an indented fovea, which magnifies the central portion of the visual field.[2][3]


  1. ^ EurekAlert! Public News List:Bird IQ test takes flight - Dr. Lefebvre's AAAS presentation - Feeding innovations and forebrain size in birds (Monday, February 21, 2005)Part of the symposium: Mind, Brain and Behavior
  2. ^ "Hawks" (HTML). Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  3. ^ Kirschbaum, Kari. "Family Accipitridae" (HTML). AnimalDiversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 

External links

1911 encyclopedia

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(Heb. netz, a word expressive of strong and rapid flight, and hence appropriate to the hawk). It is an unclean bird (Lev 11:16; Deut 14:15). It is common in Syria and surrounding countries. The Hebrew word includes various species of Falconidae, with special reference perhaps to the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), the hobby (Hypotriorchis subbuteo), and the lesser kestrel (Tin, Cenchris). The kestrel remains all the year in Palestine, but some ten or twelve other species are all migrants from the south. Of those summer visitors to Palestine special mention may be made of the Falco sacer and the Falco lanarius. (See NIGHT-HAWK �T0002729.)

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Accipitrinae
  • Accipiter
  • Micronisus
  • Melierax
  • Urotriorchis
  • Erythrotriorchis

A hawk is a birds of prey. The name can mean a different species such as:

  • In the narrow sense, species of the genus Accipiter (true hawks) and closely related birds, like goshawks and sparrowhawks
  • More generally, smaller birds of prey, like hawks, but also eagles, kites, buzzards, Old World vultures
  • Almost any bird of prey.


Names and definitions

The Hawk's scientific name is Buteo jamaicensis. The genus Buteo is from the Latin buteo (broad rounded wings). The specific name jamaicensis is named for Jamaica, the country, and from the Latin ­ensis (which means belonging to a place). This refers to the range of the hawk, extending from Alaska to the West Indies. The Hawk is a bird of prey and those types of birds are called raptors. The young ones, when they have their first complete plumage, are called immature.


Their length is 17 to 22 inches with an average of 19 inches. Their wingspread, depending on the species, ranges from 43 to 56 inches. Their weight ranges from 1.5 to 3.3 pounds, averaging 2.4 pounds.


Adults are typically dark brown and the immature ones are gray brown. There are five different species of Hawks in the United states and several more around the world. Their colors vary slightly. They have a quite noticeable shade of red on their tail end. A few species are black, but it is rare.


Hawks are a very common type of bird that can be found in every habitat in North America except in the high arctic and in extensive tracts of dense forests. The ones that live in the far north migrate south in autumn (when the cool days begin). They can get down all the way to Mexico and South America. They do not stay in the snow and ice. They return in the spring, which is the breeding season. Hawks live in both open and wooded areas, particularly wood edges. They are often seen perched conspicuously on a treetop.


Hawks start breeding when they are one year old. The breeding season is in the spring, and the eggs are laid six to eight weeks later. The mother keeps the eggs warm for about a month before they are born in the late spring. There are normally three eggs in a nestling. Weasels sometimes attack the nest, killing and/or eating the nestling.

Flight -- Active flight is with slow, steady, and deep wing beats. Hawks soar with wings raised slightly above horizontal. They hover and kite on moderate wind.


While still young and living in the nest, hawks will eat worms and beetles. They will also eat frogs, mice and snakes. As they get older, hawks prey mainly on rodents but also on insects and their larvae, fish, and larger mammals such a rabbits, hares, and squirrels. They will also eat carrion.

If a hawk finishes a meal with their crop bulging, it may not hunt again for a day or two. The crop is a pouch halfway between the mouth and the stomach, where food is stored and gradually released to the stomach. The crop maintains the steady flow of food needed to sustain these big birds. One assumption made in the program is that each hawk eats three squirrels per year, that is, it needs at least three to survive. This is a BIG assumption because hawks eat many other things and if they do not find food in an area they move until they find it. It is also interesting to know that hawks might attack and kill a squirrel but only eat small portions of it. The three squirrels per year assumption was added to have a strong relationship and dependency between the two species. In reality there is a relationship, but it is much more complex -- that involves many more species.


They have few, if any, natural predators, but they have enemies such as pollution, particularly from pesticides, and habitat destruction from developments. In short, humans are their main predators.

Look up Accipitrinae in Wikispecies, a directory of species

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