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

Waterman Bird Collection – Hawks and Owls

BJU Waterman Bird Collection Hawks Display 2018

“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26 KJV)

The next upper display case had Hawks and Owl specimen. The three Hawks give a size perspective of those hawks. The largest is the Red-Shouldered Hawk, then the Northern Harrier (female), and the Broad-Winged Hawk.

BJU Waterman Bird Collection Hawks and Owls Display 2018

“And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,” (Deuteronomy 14:15-16 KJV)

The Owls went from small to the large Great Horned Owl being the largest. The two small owls are the Boreal Owl, and the Common Screech Owl. Out of the five species, we have only seen the Red-shouldered Hawk, the Harrier and a Great Horned Owl in the wild. Again, I think these birds look pretty good, considering how long they have be preserved. [Before 1910]

Hawks and Owls are both mentioned in Scripture and are therefore – Birds of the Bible. Bible Birds – Hawks or Birds of the Bible – Hawks and Bible Birds – Owls or Birds of the Bible – Owls. Did you notice their coloration? Most sleep during the day and the Lord, their Creator, has provided them with a camouflage that helps many of them look like bark on trees.

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Tail

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Tail by Lee

[My favorite “bark” covered bird is the Tawny Frogmouth. We see them in the zoos.] Back to this article.

Here are some very informative articles with great photos about these birds from WhatBird and All About Birds. The WhatBird links have sounds which you can listen to.

Red-shouldered Hawk BJU Bird Collection 2018

  • The Red-shouldered Hawk and the Barred Owl occupy the same range in the eastern United States. They prefer the same moist woodland habitats and eat similar animals. The hawk is active during the day, and the owl is active at night. [WhatBird]

Red-shouldered Hawk  All About Birds

Northern Harrier BJU Bird Collection 2018

  • Unusual among hawks, Northern Harriers use their sense of hearing to help locate prey. They have an owl-like facial disk to help with directional hearing and soft feathers for a quieter flight. [WhatBird]

Northern Harrier  All About Birds

Broad-Winged Hawk BJU Bird Collection

  • During migration, weather and geography cause these birds to concentrate into groups that number in the thousands. These large groups are referred to as “kettles.” [WhatBird]

Broad-Winged Hawk  All About Birds

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) BJU Collection

  • The Boreal Owl is also known as Tengmalm’s Owl, after the Swedish naturalist Peter Gustaf Tengmalm. [WhatBird]

Boreal Owl  All About Birds

Screech Owl (Megascops asio) BJU Bird Collection 2018

  • The Eastern Screech Owl was first described by Carolus Linnaeus, in 1758. They have also been called the Common Screech Owl, Ghost Owl, Dusk Owl, Little-eared Owl, Spirit Owl, Whickering Owl, Little Gray Owl, Mottled Owl, Mouse Owl, Cat Owl, Shivering Owl, and Little Horned Owl.” [WhatBird]

Eastern Screech-Owl  All About Birds

Great-Horned Owl BJU Bird Collection

  • A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a “bazaar”, “glaring”, “parliament”, “stooping”, and “wisdom” of owls. [WhatBird]

Great Horned Owl  All About Birds

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Birds of the Bible – Hawks

Birds of the Bible – Owls

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

STRIGIFORMES (Owls) Order

Wordless Birds

Bible Birds – Hawk Migration

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) ©USFWS

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) ©USFWS

Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? (Job 39:26 ESV)

Job was being asked by the Lord if he knew how and why the Hawk knows that it needs to go south for the winter. The Lord is smarter than we are and when He created the birds, He gave them instincts (knowledge) to do certain tasks. He put within the Hawks and other birds that migrate (travel to other areas) the knowledge of when and where to go.

Why do they migrate? There are various reasons why they travel, many great distances, for the winter or summer. The weather turns cold in the northern part of the world (northern hemisphere) in the winter and many birds cannot survive in really cold weather. In the summer, those birds go back north, because it gets cold down where they spent the winter. (The seasons are reversed in the northern and southern hemispheres.) So, some birds just keep going north and south each year so they can live in warm weather.

Other birds move around or migrate because their food supply ends and they go to the next area to be able to feed themselves. The Lord promised the birds and animals to provide for them, but He does not “spoon-feed” them. They have to go where He has provided for them.

And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground–to everything in which there is the breath of life–I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. (Genesis 1:30 AMP)

A tree in Daniel has this promise given about it:

Its leaves were fair and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The living creatures of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches; and all flesh was fed from it.  (Daniel 4:12 AMP)

Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) ©WikiC

Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) ©WikiC

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26 AMP)

Those are very good promises by the Lord, the Creator, that He will provide for them. That last verse also gives you and I the promise that He will also provide for us, because we are worth more. He loves us and has given us much more. See The Wordless Birds.

We will tell more things about the Hawks in other Bible Bird – Hawks articles.

See Also:

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