Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between a Hawk and a Falcon

falconHawk vs Falcon

A falcon is a bird of prey that belongs to the Genus falco. There are various species of these raptor birds in the genus falco. They are characterized by their long wings and powerful beaks that are adapted to the way the birds hunt for prey, by strongly clawing and then tearing the flesh of the captured animal. Falcons, when fully mature typically fly at very high speeds and easily alter directions because their wings are tapered and thin. For the young falcons, their longer flight feathers are typical of any other flying bird but they make it easy for the young birds to learn superior prey hunting skills that will make them acquainted with effective hunting skills when they are grown. Falcons are known for their super fast flying speeds and the peregrine falcon is recorded as the fastest flying bird as well as fastest moving creature on earth with a diving speed of 322km/hr. other known falcons are the Lanner, Merlin, gyrfalcon and the hobbies which are small with wings that are long and narrow. Like many birds of prey, falcons have a very superior sense of vision, more than twice that of humans.

The hawk on the other hand is a term referring to the bird species belonging to the Accipitrinae subfamily. There are several genera in that subfamily including the Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax and Megatriorchis with the Accipiter genus being the largest and has the most common hawk birds. In this genus there are sparrowhawks, goshawks the sharp shinned hawk and many more. The hawks in this genus basically stay in woodlands and are very visually astute. They hunt their prey by unexpected dashes from a hidden perch. A long tail is characteristic of these birds. Sometimes, the word hawk may be used generally to mean any bird of prey other than owls. Although the hawk and falcon are similar in characteristics, there are several features where the two birds differ.

Falcons generally have an angular bend on their beaks that allows them to easily break their prey’s neck while hawks generally have smoother beaks with a simple curve as they mainly use their talons to snatch and kill their prey. Falcons are very fast in flight especially the peregrine falcon whereas hawks are much slower in flight and would basically just glide on a descent. Falcons are smaller birds than hawks which are generally large but with shorter wings compared to falcons.


1. Falcons belong to the same genus while hawks fall into several genera.

2. Falcons have a notch on their beaks while hawks have a simple curve on the beak.

3. Falcons grab their prey with the beaks while hawks use talons on the feet to kill prey.

4. Hawks are generally larger birds than falcons.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. Red-tailed hawk is my favorite bird of prey.

  2. Secretary bird is my favourite bird of prey,with the white tailed eagle a close second&third the kestrel.all birds of prey I like as it goes.for those that don’t know check out haasts eagle from south island new Zealand.happy bird spotting folks.

  3. The Harpy Eagle has no equal!

    • It is without a doubt a great eagle but the biggest and arguably the harpys superior is the largest eagle…the Philippine eagle

      • The harpy eagle is the biggest bird of prey. the wingspan however is not because of adaptations towards the enviroment they live in.Superiority is relativity if its about strenght, size and talon size then the harpy is superior.

  4. Good info but did a kid make this? Maybe I got tired of reading but one of the main differences is also that Falcons primarily hunt birds, while hawks hunt small mammals

    • Thank you …I raised pigeons most of my life and studied behaviour of both Hawks and falcons. Hawks would catch one bird in it’s talons and be gone…the falcon would rip the necks of a few birds like for sport and then come to the ground rip the heads off and eat til it was light enough and take off

  5. I’d like to send a photo of bird that has been around for days screeching and finding their prey to identify for me. Or do you know where i can find out what it is

  6. A sparrow hawk sits on my fence often. A beautiful, captivating creature.

  7. Peregrine falcon is my favorite falcon. My favorite hawk is the Harris’s hawk.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : , ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder