Hawks are known to be at the top of their food chain, so they don’t have a lot of predators to worry about. But there are some animals that will eat hawks if given the chance. Mostly, these are other predators who see hawk eggs or its young for food, like eagles and snakes.
Let’s take a look at some of the animals that prey on hawks:
Preying eagles will attack hawk nests in order to feast on baby or smaller hawks. Eagles aren’t above hunting and eating smaller hawks that live near them. In fact, it’s pretty normal for an eagle to go after small hawks or immature hawks who haven’t had enough time to get strong enough to put up a decent fight.
Now, according to research, adult hawks aren’t directly threatened by raccoons. Rather, they go for baby hawks and egg nests. Raccoons are natural born climbers and will often spend most of their day searching for opportunities to prey. Raccoons might try to attack a bird’s nest, but the raccoon often does not come out on top because there is usually a hawk protecting the nest.
Owls are among the few animals that can challenge the hawk, especially at night. That’s when their senses are heightened, and it gives them the chance to go after a hawk unaware. Owls typically go for baby hawks and their eggs; however, occasionally an owl will attack an adult hawk if the hawk is unsuspecting.
Snakes advantageously take opportunities when hawks are relaxed and not guarding their nests. They may not harm the adult hawks, but they can certainly disrupt their nests and baby birds. With agility, some snakes will climb trees in hopes of finding food at bird nests. Since they’re generally silent and stay hidden, these predators are difficult for hawks to locate.
There are, of course, other hawks that will go after smaller prey. In fact, sometimes different species of hawks will attack and eat one another. This happens most often when the hawk is competing for food or territory. The larger hawk usually triumphs, though not always without sustaining injuries.
As you can see, baby hawks and eggs have quite a few predators. However, they are still at the top of their food chain as full-grown adults. It’s only when they’re young or their eggs are vulnerable that these animals pose a threat. So, next time you see a hawk soaring through the sky, you can rest assured that it’s not likely to be eaten anytime soon!