Hawk is a common name for some birds of prey, widely distributed and varying greatly in size.
- In Australia and Africa hawks include some of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and others. These are mainly woodland birds with long tails and high visual acuity, hunting by sudden dashes from a concealed perch.
- In North America (and other areas) the term includes falcons and small to medium-sized members of the Accipitridae—the family which includes the "true hawks" as well as eagles, kites, harriers and buzzards.
Owls are members of the order Strigiformes and are not hawks.
The common names of some birds include the term "hawk", reflecting traditional usage rather than taxonomy, such as referring to an Osprey as a "fish hawk" or the Buteo species B. jamaicensis as a Red-tailed Hawk.
Famous quotes containing the word hawk:
“He will not go,
But wait through fish scale, shale dust, bone
of hawk and marmot,
caught leaves in ice,
Til flung on a new net of atoms:”
—Gary Snyder (b. 1930)
“Hold hard, my county darlings, for a hawk descends,
Golden Glamorgan straightens, to the falling birds.
Your sport is summer as the spring runs angrily.”
—Dylan Thomas (19141953)
“Instead of the scream of a fish hawk scaring the fishes, is heard the whistle of the steam-engine, arousing a country to its progress.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)