Is There Such a Thing As a Seahawk?

such-thing-seahawk Credit: Finiky/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

The Seattle Seahawks football team claims that its team name is an alternate common name for the osprey. However, scientists prefer to split that name into two words, and the common name "sea hawk" can refer to either ospreys or skuas.

Ospreys and skuas are different genuses of bird, so there is not one single kind of bird called a sea hawk. Both skuas and ospreys are fish-eating bird species that fly rather than swim. Ospreys live near any body of water, including lakes, rivers and oceans. Both ospreys and skuas are migratory birds, and one skua species flies thousands of miles each year.