Hawk Lesson for Kids

In this lesson, you will learn what common characteristics all hawks have. You will also learn what makes hawks a very diverse group of birds that vary in size, color, form, and much more!

What Are Hawks?

On the shows The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, Hawkman and Hawkgirl can be seen flying around saving the planet from super villains. Real hawks, like these two superheroes, are some awesome creatures with lots of cool characteristics. It’s no wonder they made these two characters based on such powerful birds!

How Are Hawks Similar?

There are over 250 types of hawks, which all belong to a group called Falconiformes. All Falconiformes are raptors, which are birds of prey. Hawks are very well known for being skilled hunters. In order to be successful at hunting, they have to be very strong and powerful. They use their keen eyesight to spot their prey. In fact, they can see up to 8 times better than we can! Hawks also have hooked beaks and talons, or sharp claws, to grab and eat their prey. Their legs are also very muscular.

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Hawks use their sharp talons to capture and tear apart their prey.
hawk talons

Hawks aren’t very picky animals, so they eat whatever prey they can find. This may include other birds, rodents, frogs, insects, and more. Whether their prey is on the ground or in the air, hawks are most likely to catch their prey because they can dive at up to 150 miles per hour in the air. That’s faster than any car you see going down the highway!

They may not hold hands and look lovingly into each other’s eyes, but hawks are monogomous animals, meaning that hawk couples stay together and mate for a lifetime. Male hawks attract their mates by doing this amazing acrobatic dance in the air. Hawks live an average of 13 to 20 years and only find another mate if theirs dies.

Hawks are monogmous, staying with the same mate for a lifetime.
Hawk mates

How Are Hawks Different?

Although all types of hawks have some similar body parts, they can look very different. They can range in size from 4 ounces (the size of a piece of chicken) to 5 pounds (the size of a very small dog). They can range in lengths up to 55 inches.

Hawks can vary in weight from 4 ounces to 5 pounds.

Hawks travel and mate differently. Some hawks are migratory, traveling thousands of miles to go to warmer areas for breeding and feeding their babies. Other hawks stay in the exact same breeding place for their whole lives. Hawks also mate at different times of year and lay different amounts of eggs. In general, smaller hawks lay more eggs (3 to 5) than larger hawks (1 to 2).

How Do We Protect Hawks?

Although Hawkman and Hawkgirl can protect themselves in their stories, there are laws in place to protect real hawks. For example, nobody is allowed to kill any type of hawk. It is also illegal to capture or keep hawks unless you become a licensed falconer. People who break these laws will have to pay fines or even possibly go to jail. This is how we make sure that our hawks never go extinct and will be around for years to come.

Lesson Summary

Hawks belong to a group called Falconiformes, which are birds of prey with keen eyesight, hooked beaks, and sharp talons. They are skilled raptors that find and mate with same partner for life. They differ in size, mating style, and traveling style.


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