Even among us bird watchers, pigeons aren’t usually a celebrated bird species, often referred to as “rats with wings” (subtle, right?). Therefore, many people don’t want pigeons in their immediate vicinity and wish to see them eradicated.
Therefore, many are likely glad to know that pigeons are the prey of certain members of the bird family – but which birds? For instance, do hawks eat pigeons?
Answered simply- yes, hawks do eat pigeons. However, in this blog post, we will look closely at why certain species of hawk prey on these little birds.
As well, we’ll examine which factors come into play when determining a hawk’s success in obtaining these little birds as a snack. If you’d like to learn more, keep reading!
How Often Do Hawks Eat Pigeons?
Hawks typically hunt for food every day, and a single hawk can eat up to four pigeons per day. In areas where there is an abundance of this little bird, hawks may eat several times a day, while in other areas they may only eat once every few days.
Given this diet, it’s unsurprising that farmers (and some bird enthusiasts) see hawks as pests.
However, some people believe that hawks play an important role in controlling the population of pigeons. After all, without hawks, pigeons could quickly overrun many urban areas.
Nevertheless, whether you view them as pests or predators, there is no doubt that hawks are skilled hunters and their diet of pigeons is an important part of their ecology.
Do Hawks Eat Pigeon Eggs?
Hawks are predators, so their diet mostly consists of animals that they can easily prey upon. Smaller hawks may eat insects, while larger ones primarily hunt rodents, rabbits, and snakes.
As well, some hawks hunt birds, such as pigeons. In fact, some species of hawks particularly favor pigeon eggs as a food source. The eggs are small and easy to swallow, and they provide a good source of protein and fat.
While pigeon eggs are not the only food that hawks eat, they form an important part of their diet. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to spot hawks preying on pigeons or raiding their nests in search of eggs.
Do Hawks Eat Dead Pigeons?
As any birder knows, there are many different species of hawks. But what do these predators eat? While hawks will hunt and eat a wide range of animals, from rodents to snakes, they are perhaps best known for their fondness for pigeons.
In urban areas, people view pigeons as pests, so there’s no love lost when they see a hawk swoop down and snatch one up. But what happens to the pigeon after it’s been caught?
Well, as it turns out, not all hawks will eat their prey immediately. In some cases, the hawk will store the pigeon in a tree or on a ledge, returning to it later when hunger strikes.
This behavior, known as cache hoarding, is thought to help the hawk survive lean times when food is scarce. So, next time you see a hawk soaring through the sky, you may want to keep your pigeon friends close by!
Do Pigeon Hawks Eat Pigeons?
Pigeon hawks, also known as Merlins, are actually falcons, close relatives to hawks. They’re known for their ability to take down larger prey — especially pigeons, which they target as a primary food source (after all, they are called pigeon hawks).
While these birds typically eat smaller prey, such as rodents and insects, they are capable of taking down a full-grown pigeon. They will also consume other birds, reptiles, and small mammals.
Generally, pigeon hawks are found in open woodlands and fields. However, they will also venture into urban areas in search of food. While these hawks typically hunt alone, they may occasionally form small hunting parties to take down larger prey.
So, as we’ve determined, pigeons are an important element of a hawk’s diet. Not only are they beneficial to these great raptors’ well-being, but if you live in an area where pigeons are abundant and pest-like, the hawks are around to take care of the problem!