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 hawks:
“Oh, Jacques, were used to each other, were a pair of captive hawks caught in the same cage, and so weve grown used to each other. Thats what passes for love at this dim, shadowy end of the Camino Real.”
—Tennessee Williams (19141983)