Bible Birds – Hawk Introduction

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) by Dan (closeup)

“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south? (Job 39:26 NKJV)

According to the King James Version of Scripture, the other two verses with hawk in them are:

“the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind;” (Leviticus 11:16 NKJV)

“the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds;” (Deuteronomy 14:15 NKJV)

For more advanced reading, you can check out Birds of the Bible – Clean vs. Unclean,  Birds of the Bible – The Law Of The Birds and Deuteronomy 14:11-18 Visualized on Leesbird.com

What is a Hawk? To what Family of birds does it belong?

Harris Hawk in Training at National Aviary

Harris Hawk in Training at National Aviary

Hawks are one of God’s Created Avian Wonders. The bird family of Hawks, Accipitridae, not only includes Hawks, but also Eagles, Kites, Harriers, Vultures, plus more. The Lord has given them great eyesight, hearing, and speed.

Hawks have excellent eyesight. They can see up to 8 times more clearly than the sharpest human eye. Eyesight is primarily used for hunting.

Their hearing is acute, but their sense of smell is poor.

Hawk species are known for their speed, particularly when chasing prey. During the hunt, some species of hawks can dive 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour through the air. [Just Fun Facts]

“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. 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.” Hawks – CreationWiki [with editing]

Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga) ©WikiC

Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga) ©WikiC

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) ©USFWS

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) ©USFWS

Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus) ©WikiC

Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus) ©WikiC

Hawks are in the Accipitridae Family of Kites, Hawks & Eagles and you can read more about them in the Birds of the Bible – Hawk section.
Hawks have claws which are used for catching their prey. Beware of these:

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) talons by Beedie

  • A Cooper’s Hawk captures a bird with its feet and kills it by repeated squeezing. Falcons tend to kill their prey by biting it, but Cooper’s Hawks hold their catch away from the body until it dies. [Cool Fact from All about Birds]

Hawks and the other birds in this family did not always prey (catch) other living critters. Because of sin, these avian creations from the Lord, were placed under God’s curse. One day, when that curse is removed, the birds of prey will become birds of play [with others.]

Check out All About Birds – Hawks and Falcons

See also:

Accipitriformes – Order, Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)

ABC’s of the Gospel

Bible Birds – Vulture Introduction

Vulture Introduction

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) WikiC

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) WikiC

And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Leviticus 11:13 NKJV)

The Bible list Vulture or Vultures in 5 – 11 different verses (depending on version)

There are sixteen (16) Vultures in the Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles Family. These are the “Old World” Vultures (found in Asia, Africa and Europe). When the Bible mentions a Vulture, it would have be one of these, most likely.

Bearded Vulture
Cape Vulture
Cinereous Vulture
Egyptian Vulture
Griffon Vulture
Himalayan Vulture
Hooded Vulture
Indian Vulture
Lappet-faced Vulture
Palm-nut Vulture
Red-headed Vulture
Rüppell’s Vulture
Slender-billed Vulture
White-backed Vulture
White-headed Vulture
White-rumped Vulture

There are seven (7) “New World” Vultures (found in the Americas) that belong to the Cathartidae – New World Vultures Family.

Andean Condor
Black Vulture
California Condor
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
King Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Sometime Vultures are called Buzzards and sometimes Buzzards are called Vultures. They are similar, and in the same family. New World vultures (found in the Americas) and Old World vultures  aren’t actually closely related. Buzzards are also mentioned in the Bible. See Bible Birds – Buzzard

Color Key to Birds - Vulture

Turkey Vulture – Color Key To North American Birds

Generally large birds with hooked bill; strong, heavy feet, and long, curved nails; wings large; tail rather long, usually square.

From various internet Amazing Bird Facts:

  • New World vultures and Old World vultures aren’t actually closely related.
  • Slowest Wingbeat of any bird: vultures at 1/sec
  • Highest flying bird: Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture at 11,274 m (7 mi) or 37,000 ft, at this height human beings would die from lack of air. It flew into a plane.
  • New World vultures may be more closely related to storks than to other raptors.
  • A group of vultures is called a committee, venue or volt. In flight, a flock of vultures is a kettle, and when the birds are feeding together at a carcass, the group is called a wake.
  • It is a myth that vultures will circle dying animals waiting to feed.
  • The Andean condor, found in South America, has the largest wingspan of any vulture in the world, with a spread of 10-11 feet when the bird extends its wings.
Condor-Turkey-King Vulture Sign at Brevard Zoo by Lee

Condor-Turkey-King Vulture Sign at Brevard Zoo by Lee

Click on Photo to make full screen

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More Bible Birds

Bible Birds – Vulture

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles Family

Cathartidae – New World Vultures Family

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