Difference between Hawk and Falcon

From diff.wiki

Trust me; you are not the only one having a problem when it comes to distinguishing a Hawk from a Falcon. Usually, people have difficulty differentiating a Hawk from a Falcon, especially when the bird is not in full flight because the wingspan is not visible. The primary way to tell a Hawk from a Falcon is the difference in physical appearance; Hawks are generally larger when compared to Falcons. The reduced weight makes the falcon faster; a falcon can travel 60mph, whereas a Hawk can travel a maximum of 40mph. Typically, the Falcons are stronger than the Hawks. Other physical differences you can note when trying to differentiate a Hawk from a Falcon includes; Falcons have a simple curve on the beak while Hawk has a notch on the beak. Falcons have straight, slender wings; Hawks, on the other hand, have fingers on the tip of their wings. Another easy way to distinguish a Hawk from a falcon is the mode of hunting. Hawk and Falcons use different playbooks for catching their prey. Falcons catch their prey with the beak while Hawks use the talons on their feet to grab their prey. Their hunting mode determines what animal they prey on; Falcons hunt for birds and Hawks hunt for mammals.


Hawks are birds of prey that belong to the family Accipitridae with a lot of subfamilies, and it belongs to a class Aves, phylum Chordata, and kingdom Animalia. Hawks’ eyesight is eight times better than that of an average human being. And the main characteristics of hawks include muscular legs, large talons, hooked beaks, and sharp claws. Its main prey is small birds.


Falcons are birds of prey popular among humans, with over 40 species spread worldwide. Scientists' research shows that the eyesight of a falcon is eight times better than that of a human. Interestingly, falcons’ mate for life using the same nest. Physical characteristics of falcons include hooked beaks, pointed wings, aerodynamic bodies, and strong talons. Falcon is the fastest animal on Earth.

Table of comparison

Parameters of comparison Hawks Falcons
Species Over 250 species About 37 species
Family Accipitridae Falconidae
Head Pointed head Short-rounded head
Beak Simple curve on the beak Notch on the beak
Egg’s color Whitish or light blue eggs with brown spots Whitish eggs with brown markings
Uniqueness Incomparable eyesight and hunting abilities Fastest flying birds with a speed exceeding 300km/h
Preys Rabbits, mice, rats, gophers, and grasshoppers Small doves such as doves and pigeons