Do hawks eat badgers? The answer is yes, but not very often. Hawks typically prefer to eat smaller prey, such as rodents or birds. Badgers, on the other hand, are relatively large and aggressive animals.
As a result, they are not an easy target for most predators. There have been a few reported cases of hawks killing badgers, but it is generally not a common occurrence.
In most cases, it is likely that the hawk was simply trying to defend itself from the badger. So, while it is possible for hawks to eat badgers, it is not something that happens on a regular basis.
What Do Hawks Eat?
Hawks are apex predators, who belong to a somewhat looser group of raptors (birds of prey). They range in weight from little Africa’s sparrowhawk (a few ounces) to the North American ferruginous hawk and Asia’s upland buzzard (which can weigh up to four pounds).
Given the huge range of prey available and an equally vast ecological scope – not to mention viciously hooked beaks, razor-sharp talons, and famous for their eyes – it’s no surprise that hawks consume such a wide range of foods.
Here are a few of the most common:
Insects and Invertebrates
Swainson’s hawks, for example – slender mid-sized buteos that spend the winter in Argentina and the summer in North America’s western region – consume a wide range of insects throughout the year, including grasshoppers and crickets. Not only do aquatic invertebrates face danger, but so do terrestrial ones.
Red-shouldered hawks have been seen snatching crayfish from the water, while both swamp harriers and Fiji goshawks have been documented catching prawns.
Snakes, Lizards, and Other Reptiles
Snakes, lizards, and other reptiles are a staple in the diets of many hawks. In certain regions, red-shouldered hawks consume about a third of their diet comprised of such cold-blooded food items as turtles.
The bites of venomous snakes, such as rattlesnakes and cottonmouths, that they apparently targeted as prey have been known to kill two very numerous North American species, such as the red-tailed hawk and Cooper’s hawk. However, such deaths are probably most common among young and/or inexperienced birds.
Small animals, such as mice, shrews, lagomorphs (rabbits, hares, and pikas), and others form the dietary foundation for a variety of hawks throughout the world. In North America, cottontail rabbits may account for up to half of a red-tailed hawk’s diet.
Rough-legged hawks are famous for their intense predation of tiny animals, particularly lemmings and ground squirrels, which they eat on both their high-Arctic breeding grounds and wintering areas.
The ferruginous hawk, which is found across western North America, mainly targets mammals, such as prairie dogs, jackrabbits, ground squirrels, and others.
In the boreal forest of North America, the northern goshawk is one of the most important hare predators.
What Type Of Hawk Eats Badgers?
Most hawks are opportunistic predators, feeding on whatever small animals they can catch.
However, there are a few species of hawks that specialize in hunting large prey. The largest of these is the Ferruginous hawk, which is known to hunt everything from badgers to rabbits.
While most Ferruginous hawks live in open plains or deserts, they have also been known to frequent suburban areas in search of food. These sharp-eyed predators can spot their prey from great heights, and they are capable of flying at speeds up to 50 miles per hour when diving for their dinner.
So if you see a hawk hovering overhead, be sure to keep an eye out for any small animals that might be caught in its sights.
Do Hawks Eat Baby Badgers?
Hawks are powerful predators that can easily take down birds and small mammals.
Given their hunting prowess, you might wonder if hawks ever hunt badgers. Badgers are relatively large animals, and they are well-known for their fighting ability.
As a result, you might assume that hawks steer clear of them. However, there have been a few reports of hawks preying on badgers. In one case, a farmer in England discovered a dead badger with several puncture wounds on its body.
A nearby hawk was observed hovering over the carcass, and it is believed that the bird killed the badger. While such incidents are rare, they do suggest that hawks are capable of taking down badgers if they are hungry enough.
Do Hawks Eat Dead Badgers?
Do hawks eat dead badgers? It’s a question that has puzzled many people, especially those who live near wooded areas where these two animals are common.
The answer, it turns out, is both yes and no. Hawks are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat just about anything that crosses their paths.
This includes small mammals like rodents and rabbits, as well as larger prey like deer. Dead badgers fall into this latter category, so hawks will occasionally eat them.
However, badgers are not a preferred food source for hawks, and they are more likely to scavenge a dead badger than to hunt one down.
In other words, if you see a hawk eating a dead badger, it’s probably because there wasn’t anything else around for the hawk to eat.