Q:

What is the difference between eagles, hawks and falcons?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Raptor Research Foundation, the most apparent difference between eagles, hawks and falcons is size. Eagles are among the largest birds of prey, while certain species of falcon weigh less than 50 grams. Hawks, a varied group of raptors, usually fall somewhere in the middle. The different sizes and builds of these birds allow them to hunt in unique ways.

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What is the difference between eagles, hawks and falcons?
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Full Answer

The wingspans of common North American eagles, such as the golden eagle and the bald eagle, can reach 7 feet, while the American kestrel, a small species of falcon, has a wingspan of less than 2 feet, according to About.com. Birds in the falcon family have tapered, narrow wings that, combined with their diminutive size, grant them immense speed and agility. This makes them preferred birds for the sport of falconry. Most hawks, on the other hand, have shorter, rounded wings and long tails. These features allow them to soar on air currents without flapping. Most hawks are divided into two categories: accipiters, or forest hawks, and buteos, or grassland hawks. Eagles are identified by their powerful wings and heavy beaks. They also possess the ability to soar on thermals for great lengths of time, and their sharp eyesight is paired with this skill to make them keen hunters. The Raptor Research Foundation states that there are 75 known species of eagle.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where can kids learn more about eagles online?

    A:

    National Geographic Kids is an excellent resource for child-accessible information about eagles. Many zoo websites also have child and family-friendly information pages. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds site is also appropriate, especially for older children.

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  • Q:

    How do eagles teach their young to fly?

    A:

    Baby eagles learn to fly by hopping around in the nest, flapping their wings, jumping from the nest to nearby tree branches and watching their parents. They are ready to make their first flight within 10 to 12 weeks.

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  • Q:

    Where do golden eagles live?

    A:

    Golden eagles live in Eurasia, northern Africa and North America. They are found around mountains, canyons, riverside cliffs and bluffs. Golden eagles are territorial and can have a territory of up to 60 square miles.

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  • Q:

    What are some adaptations that bald eagles have?

    A:

    Bald eagles have several adaptations that allow them to be superior, such as excellent eyesight with frontal settings that provide them with binocular and peripheral vision, strong, hooked beaks that can easily tear apart tissues and powerful talons that are used for capturing prey. Bald eagles are also known for being able to reach incredible speeds that are up to 30 miles per hour when flying and up to 100 miles per hour when diving for prey. Their excellent vision allows them to easily identify prey that may be up to 1 mile away.

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