do hawks eat fish

Do Hawks Eat Fish? Diet Facts About These Predatory Birds

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You probably know that hawks are birds of prey, which primarily feast on small animals like rodents and rabbits. But you may also be curious about ways that hawks supplement their diet, wondering particularly: do hawks eat fish? 

We’re glad you asked! This blog post will inform you about the dietary habits of hawks, and just where fish fit (if at all) into the mix. So get comfortable, settle in, and enjoy the journey!

What Fish Do Hawks Eat

Hawks are predators that hunt other animals for food. Smaller hawks eat mostly insects, while larger hawks hunt larger prey, such as rodents, reptiles, and birds. But what about fish? Do hawks eat fish?

While hawks are opportunistic feeders, who will eat anything they can catch, fish doesn’t make up the bulk of their diet. However, some hawks do eat (and maybe even prefer) fish.

Ospreys, for example, are especially adept at hunting fish. Their razor-sharp talons allow them to dive into the water and snatch up unsuspecting fishies.

They also have special feathers that help to deflect water so that they can dry off quickly after a dive. Plus, their special eyes give them another great advantage, as they’re able to spot fish from high in the sky.

So if you see a hawk diving into a pond or river, there’s a good chance it’s an osprey on the hunt for its next meal. Or, it may be a hawk with scarce food sources just trying to survive. 

Do Hawks Catch Fish Out Of Ponds?

As stated above, hawks will eat anything they can get their hands — or talons — on. This includes fish, however, they prefer small mammals, reptiles, and insects. 

With that in mind, hawks have been known to catch fish right out of ponds on occasion. And even though this behavior is uncommon, it does occur occasionally — usually when the pond is shallow, making it easy for the hawk to spot the fish from a distance.

If you have a pond on your property, you should always be on the lookout for predatory hawks, as they can — in teh right circumstances — be detrimental to your local fish population. One thing, in particular, that you can do to help ward off hawks is to monitor your pond and remove any dead fish that may float to the surface. 

Do Hawks Eat Koi Fish

Hawks are efficient predators, but koi fish are fairly large and thus, would require a lot of effort for a hawk to catch and eat. Plus, koi fish are not native to North America, where the vast majority of hawk species reside. It is more likely that hawks in North America would eat smaller fish such as minnows or sunfish.

Thus, while it is possible that a hawk could theoretically eat a koi fish, it is not likely to happen in nature.

Do Hawks Eat Salmon

Yes, hawks eat salmon.

Salmon are migratory fish that travel from freshwater rivers to the ocean and back again. Hawks that live near waterways where salmon migrate may hunt them for food. In addition to eating salmon, hawks may also scavenge for carcasses or eat eggs from nests.

Do Hawks Eat Trout

Hawks are one of the most feared predators in the avian world. Their sharp talons and powerful beaks can make quick work of smaller prey, including, sometimes, types of fish. But do hawks eat trout as well?

While it’s true that hawks are capable of killing and eating trout, it’s not their primary food source. Most hawks prefer to eat small mammals like mice and voles.

That’s because these animals are easier to catch and provide more calories than fish. Hawks will only turn to trout when other food sources are scarce. 

So, while it’s possible that a hawk could snag a trout from your local stream, it’s very unlikely. So, you can rest easy knowing that your trout are safe from these feathered predators.

Do Hawks Eat Bass

Do hawks eat bass? The answer is yes, hawks have been known to eat bass. While it is not their preferred food, if the opportunity presents itself, a hawk will gladly feast on a bass.

If you are wondering what kind of bass the hawks go for, they typically go for the smaller ones. This is because the smaller bass is easier to catch and kill. So, if you are looking to attract hawks to your area, you might want to consider stocking up on small bass.

Who knows, you might get to see one of these majestic predators in action!


Hawks are skilled hunters that will eat just about anything they can catch.

While fish are not their preferred food, they will gladly eat them if the opportunity arises. So, if you see a hawk near your pond or river, there’s a good chance it’s looking for a meal. Just be sure to keep an eye on your fish population and remove any dead fish promptly to avoid attracting these predators!

Trust, your little fish friends will thank you. 

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