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Scientific Classification

Hawks are contained within the sub family, Accipitrinae. Many birds are mistaken for hawks, which are actually falcons (Falconiformes), rather than the order Accipitriformes. The primary, distinguishable difference between the two, falcons and hawks, is that hawks have broader, rounded wings, whereas falcons have more narrow, straight wings. Falcons build nests of foliage and twigs in trees. They are all diurnal, meaning they are awake during the day, and sleep during the night, and they all have 20/2 vision, significantly better than humans, allowing them to see nearly eight times better than a human with good eyesight! Hawks are recognized as one of the most intelligent kinds of birds. Hawks are distributed all over the world, on every single continent excluding Antarctica. The heterogenous group, Hawks, contains birds ranging from the eagle to the vulture.[1]


Northern Harrier (C. cyaneus)

All hawks are almost exactly the same structurally as all other birds, and the distinguishing features that set them apart from all of the other hawks are minute. As clearly demonstrated in the picture located to the left, hawks are distinguished from all other birds, especially falcons, by their broader, more rounded wings. They also have sharp, curved, hooked bills, strong feet with curved talons, and amazing sight capabilities. All hawks have uniform 20/2 vision, exactly 8 times better than a human with good eyesight! Almost all male hawks are smaller than females.[2]


The organisms contained within the family Accipitrinae do not reproduce any different than any of their counterparts from the class Aves. They are oviparous, meaning that the organism lays the eggs with little or no other development within the mother. All Accipitrinae reproduce sexually, and maintain their mate for life, except in the instance that their mate dies.[3]


All hawks are carnivores, they cannot digest plant material. All hawks are birds of prey, and they all prey upon organisms all the way from bugs and worms to other birds. Hawks live in every area of the world, except Antarctica, because of the harsh conditions. Hawks assemble nests that are made up of foliage and twigs, sticks, bark, and other things, and they make them in trees. All hawks migrate annually, and they all mate for life.[4]


Conservation Status

A lot of hawks are placed on the conservation status list, which means that they are at least concerned, which is the first step on the conservation status bar. When an animal nears the left side of the conservation status, the numbers of that species get fewer and fewer, and once that specific species reaches the last dot, extinct, they are presumed to be extinct. They are only presumed to be extinct because there is no possible way to check the entire globe for that specific species of animals simultaneously. Most animals start to go into concern and make it onto the conservation status bar when mammals and humans are introduced into their habitats.[5]