What do Hawks Eat? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:05 Birds of Prey
  • 0:30 A Healthy Diet
  • 1:18 Hawk Predator Practice
  • 2:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kristin Pia Hayman

Kristin taught for over 10 years in the elementary classroom. She holds a B.A. in Journalism as well as a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

Hawks are natural predators. They hunt to survive and eat a variety of different animals. This lesson will discuss the hawk's diet and hunting practices.

Birds of Prey

Hawks are birds, so they eat seeds and fruit, right? Wrong! Hawks may be birds, but they have quite an appetite. Believe it or not, the main part of a hawk's diet is made up of meat from other animals.

A hawk is part of a special group called birds of prey, also known as raptors. Birds in this group hunt other animals for food. Birds of prey are carnivores, which means that they only eat meat. No vegetables or plants for these guys!

Hawks are birds of prey.

A Healthy Diet

A hawk will eat just about anything. Their most common food is small mammals, such as mice, rats, rabbits, voles, and squirrels. But they don't stop there. Hawks also feast on snakes, lizards, frogs, insects, and many more.

Still hungry? These birds also eat other birds! Small birds like doves, starlings, and blackbirds better watch out if they see a hawk nearby.

Hawks are pretty strong, so they can hunt for animals weighing less than an ounce, to those weighing more than five pounds. However, hawks have also been seen carrying away larger animals, like baby sheep and foxes!

But not all of the hawk's food is caught alive. They aren't afraid to eat animals killed by something else. Although it sounds gruesome to think about, hawks eating adorable little animals, this is all a part of nature. Hawks hunt to survive, and they are a large part of the food chain.

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