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Interesting facts about hawks

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We found 21 interesting facts about hawks

Very dexterous and effective predators, as well as excellent and caring parents.

In the 60s, hawks were a very common bird in Poland, but due to attacks on poultry, they were exterminated en masse by the rural population. There have been cases when people climbed trees with hawk nests and destroyed them along with the eggs or chicks inside. During such events, adults defending the nest often died. The situation of these birds began to improve only in the 80s, when they began to protect and restore their population.


Goshawks are found in deciduous and boreal forests of the northern hemisphere.


There are 10 subspecies of goshawk (Accipiter gentilis gentilis) found in Poland.


In Poland, the hawk population is estimated at approximately 6500 pairs.


Goshawks can be found in the mountains, where they live at altitudes of up to 1000 meters above sea level.


Most of the hawks in Poland can be found in Silesia and Greater Poland.


Males can reach a body length of 48 to 56 cm and a wingspan of 95 to 105 cm.


Female hawks are larger than males, their body length usually ranges from 58 to 66 cm, wingspan from 110 to 125 cm.


The body weight of hawks is up to 1 kg in males and up to 1,5 kg in females.


A characteristic feature of these birds is a wide white eyebrow above the eyes.


Hawks have relatively long tails, which help these birds maneuver while flying between tree branches.


Hawks lead a solitary lifestyle and mate only during the mating season.


Hawks rarely make any sounds; most often they can only be heard during the mating season.


They are predators. They most often hunt other birds, usually pigeons, jays, crows, jackdaws and partridges.

It happens that domestic birds also become victims of hawks. In addition to birds, which make up about 85% of hawks' food, these birds hunt squirrels, hares, rabbits and small rodents.

These birds establish a breeding area several months before mating season.

The female, who is larger than the male, is responsible for this task. They build the nest together from branches and sticks, although the female has a large share in its creation.

Goshawk nests are usually located in the crowns of old trees at a height of 10 to 20 meters. Hawks may use nests for several seasons.


Hawk eggs have a bluish tint and change color over time. The female usually lays 3 eggs at the turn of March and April.


Goshawks incubate the eggs for about 35–40 days, sometimes the male incubates them.

After hatching, the chicks do not leave the nest for the first month, but later they begin to move to branches adjacent to the nest and try to learn to fly. They usually acquire this skill after a week of testing, although they are not yet fully functional.

Around 70 days after hatching, the young hawks become independent and reach sexual maturity after 10 months.


Only the female is responsible for caring for the young. The male only provides the nest with food.


If the female dies, the young are at risk of starvation.

The male gradually develops the instinct to separate and feed the young evenly, but the young may take too long to survive.

Goshawks are a fully protected species in Poland.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the common hawk as a species of Least Concern. According to the Polish Bird Monitor, the number of hawks has stabilized.

We do not know the exact number of individuals found in the country, but it is estimated that there may be between 4900 and 6300 breeding pairs.

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