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hawk,name generally applied to the smaller members of the Accipitridae, a heterogeneous family of diurnal birds of prey, such as the eagleeagle,
common name for large predatory birds of the family Accipitridae (hawk family), found in all parts of the world. Eagles are similar to the buteos, or buzzard hawks, but are larger both in length and in wingspread (up to 7 1-2 ft/228 cm) and have beaks nearly as long as
..... Click the link for more information. , the kitekite,
in zoology, common name for a bird of the family Accipitridae, which also includes the hawk. Kites are found near water and marshes in warm parts of the world. They prey chiefly on reptiles, frogs, and insects.
..... Click the link for more information. , and the Old World vulturevulture,
common name for large birds of prey of temperate and tropical regions. The Old World vultures (family Accipitridae) are allied to hawks and eagles; the more ancient American vultures and condors are of a different family (Cathartidae) with distant links to storks and
..... Click the link for more information. . Hawks belong to the same order as the New World vulture, the ospreyosprey
, common name for a fish-eating bird of prey found near water in most parts of the world. The osprey, or fish hawk, Pandion haliaetus, has brown upperparts and a grayish white head and underparts.
..... Click the link for more information. , and the secretary birdsecretary bird,
common name for a long-legged African bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, related to the hawk and about 4 ft (122 cm) tall. Its crest of black feathers suggested the quill pens behind the ear of a 19th-century male secretary.
..... Click the link for more information. ; they were formerly classified with the falcons but are not closely related genetically. Hawks have keen sight, sharply hooked bills, and powerful feet with curved talons. Strong and graceful in flight, they are distinguished from falcons by their broader, rounded wings.
Typical of the hunting hawks, or accipiters, is the goshawk found in northern temperate regions, which feeds on small mammals and on other birds, riding its prey to the ground. Other destructive American accipiters are the chicken, or Cooper's, hawk, Accipiter cooperi, and the small (robin-sized) sharp-shinned hawk, A. striatus, which is known to feed on at least 50 species of harmless or beneficial birds. The males of this group are usually smaller than the females. Buteos (called buzzards by the English) are a diverse and cosmopolitan group of medium to large hawks and eagles with shorter legs and tails and larger wings than the accipiters. They include beneficial hawks such as the American red-tailed, red-shouldered, broad-winged, rough-legged, and Swainson's hawks, which feed on harmful rodents and reptiles. Except for the harriers, or marsh hawks (owl-faced birds of open land and marshes), which are ground nesters, hawks build their nests of sticks and twigs in trees. All hawks regurgitate the indigestible portions of their prey as pellets. Included in the hawk family is the bateleur, a serpent eagle of Africa and Arabia which somersaults in its flight.
The name hawk is applied also to many falcons and the totally unrelated nighthawk (a goatsuckergoatsucker,
common name for nocturnal or crepuscular birds of the order Caprimulgiformes, which includes the frogmouth, the oilbird, potoos, and nightjars. Goatsuckers are medium in size and are found in the temperate and tropical zones of both hemispheres.
..... Click the link for more information. ), certain members of the gullgull,
common name for an aquatic bird of the family Laridae, which also includes the tern and the jaeger. It is found near all oceans and many inland waters. Gulls are larger and bulkier than terns, and their tails are squared rather than forked.
..... Click the link for more information. and jaegerjaeger
, common name for several members of the family Stercorariidae, member of a family of hawklike sea birds closely related to the gull and the tern. The skua is also a member of this family.
..... Click the link for more information. families, and the hawk swallow, a European swiftswift,
common name for small, swallowlike birds related to the hummingbird and found all over the world, chiefly in the tropics. They range in size from 6 to 12 in. (15–30 cm) in length. Swifts have long wings and small feet and can perch only on vertical surfaces.
..... Click the link for more information. . True hawks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Accipitriformes, family Accipitridae.
What does it mean when you dream about a hawk?
To watch someone “like a hawk” is to suggest that suspicions are aroused and caution is advised. The hawk is also a high-flying regal messenger and symbolizes keen eyesight.