Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs? Fun Facts You Never Knew!

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Hawks are predatory birds, whose diet consists mostly of small mammals, lizards, snakes, frogs, and birds. Meanwhile, hedgehogs are small mammals. Therefore, it’s natural to wonder: do hawks eat hedgehogs? 

Technically, the answer is yes. Hawks are opportunistic carnivores, who will eat any animal they can catch.  If it moves and it’s small enough to fit in a hawk’s mouth, the hawk will probably try to eat it.

With that said, hawks definitely prefer easy meals, and will typically go after smaller mammals, birds, and invertebrates that are less likely to put up a fight. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, come with natural defenses — such as a coat of prickly, porcupine-like quills, that when balled up, can hurt a predator that’s attacking it. 

Therefore, it’s safe to say that a hedgehog may not be a hawk’s preferred meal, even if they will take a chance on them. Let’s examine different insights regarding a hawk’s likelihood of eating hedgehogs, and which species of hawks are more likely to make a meal out of them.

Do Hawks Hunt Hedgehogs?

As stated above, hawks are opportunistic predators and will hunt any animal they can catch. 

However, whether or not a hawk will specifically target hedgehogs as prey depends on several factors, such as the location and availability of food sources.  For example, hawks in Montana may hunt hedgehogs regularly, while in other areas they may ignore them completely.

Can Hawks Pick Up Hedgehogs?

Hawks are powerful birds, who use their sharp talons to attack and carry their prey. However, they can’t carry anything larger than themselves. Since most hedgehogs weigh less than one pound, they are easy prey for hawks. 

Types Of Hedgehogs

There are many different types of hedgehogs, who live in different areas of the world. Here are a few of the most common:

1. African Pygmy Hedgehogs

The African pygmy hedgehog is the most common type of pet hedgehog. These hedgehogs are native to sub-Saharan Africa and were introduced to Europe and North America in the late 20th century. African pygmy hedgehogs typically weigh between 0.75 and one pound.

These hedgehogs are nocturnal and do not hibernate. African pygmy hedgehogs typically live for four to six years in captivity, though some have been known to live for up to ten years.

2. European Hedgehogs

The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is the second most common type of hedgehog. These hedgehogs are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. European hedgehogs typically weigh between two and four pounds.

3. Desert Hedgehogs

These are the least common type of hedgehog. Desert hedgehogs (Paraechinus aethiopicus) are native to the deserts of northern Africa and the Middle East and the weight of desert hedgehogs is between one and two pounds.

4. Long-eared Hedgehogs

They are a type of desert hedgehog. Long-eared hedgehogs (Hemiechinus auritus) are native to the deserts of northern Africa and the Middle East. 

5. Indian Hedgehogs

Indian hedgehogs are native to the Indian subcontinent. These hedgehogs typically weigh between one and two pounds.

6. Somali Hedgehogs

This type of hedgehog is found in the Horn of Africa. Somali hedgehogs typically weigh between one and two pounds and have shorter quills than other types of hedgehogs. Also, Somali hedgehogs do not have the ability to roll into a ball.

7. Chinese Hedgehogs

The Chinese hedgehog is native to China and Mongolia. The Chinese hedgehog is the largest type of hedgehog.

These are the seven most common types of hedgehogs. As you can see, hedgehogs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some hedgehogs are nocturnal, while others are diurnal. Hedgehogs typically live for four to six years, though some have been known to live for up to ten years.

What Types Of Hawk Eats Hedgehogs?

Red-tailed hawks are the most common type of hawk that preys on hedgehogs. Here are a few other types of hawks that are known to eat hedgehogs:

1. Red-tailed Hawk

The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a bird of prey that breeds throughout most of North America, from the interior of Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies. It is one of the most widespread birds of prey in the Americas.

A red-tailed hawk’s diet consists mainly of small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, and mice. However, these hawks will also eat smaller prey items such as lizards, snakes, frogs, and insects. In some cases, red-tailed hawks have been known to prey on hedgehogs.

2. Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged hawks (Buteo lagopus) are medium-sized flying predators that vary in the Arctic locales of North America, Europe, and Asia. These birds of prey relocate south for the colder time of year, for certain people going similar to South America. The Rough-legged falcon is a sort of bird of prey that is tracked down in open regions, like fields and knolls. These falcons are known to go after little creatures, like hedgehogs.

3. Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous hawks are large birds of prey that breed in open areas across North America. These hawks are most commonly found in the western United States, but they can also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico. Ferruginous hawks primarily prey on rodents, such as rabbits and ground squirrels.

However, these hawks will also eat smaller prey items, such as lizards, snakes, and hedgehogs.

4. Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper’s hawks (Accipiter cooperii) are medium-sized flying predators that variety in timberlands across North America. These falcons chase little creatures, like squirrels, mice, and hares. Now and again, Cooper’s falcons have been known to go after hedgehogs.

5. Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned hawks are small birds of prey that breed in forests across North America. These hawks hunt small animals, such as squirrels, mice, and songbirds. In some cases, sharp-shinned hawks have been known to prey on hedgehogs.

These are the most common types of hawks that are known to eat hedgehogs. However, it’s important to remember that hawks are opportunistic predators and will eat just about anything they can catch.

Do Hawks Eat Dead Hedgehogs?

Hawks prefer live prey, but they are also scavengers, who will eat dead animals if given the opportunity. Therefore, a hawk will eat dead hedgehogs if it comes across them.

Conclusion

Hawk are amazing predators and will typically eat many types of birds. they can catch, but whether or not they see hedgehogs as prey depends on the location and availability of food sources. 

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