Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Eagle and Hawk

Bald Eagle

Eagle vs Hawk

It’s hard to admit it but many are really confused about the real difference between an eagle and a hawk. People around the world just identify any huge flying bird to what they are accustomed in calling them. Nevertheless, if there is a popularity contest, the eagle will surely win by a landslide as more people know about the term eagle compared to the hawk. But little did these individuals know that there really are some differences between the two, it’s just difficult to pinpoint the disparity by just taking a glimpse of these birds at a far distance.

Experts on birds would often generalize that the simples way out of this confusion is accepting that eagles are generally the larger birds compared to the hawks. However, even with this assumption it is still difficult to distinguish the two whenever you happen to compare the smallest specie of eagle to the largest hawk class. As a result, there’s an overlap in the assumption above because some hawks (dependent on specific type) are larger than some eagles. For example, the Red-tailed Hawk (a large hawk specie) is actually bigger than the Australian Little Eagle (one of the smallest eagles in the world). It is probably because of this example why the confusion always sets in. With regard to the Red-tailed Hawks, they almost have an identical set of tail and wing shapes with most eagles.

Black Hawk

In another sense, it is actually safe to say that they are also the same birds (at least, belonging to the same family) because there is no clear taxonomic differentiation yet between the two. It’s just a matter of memorizing the looks of certain eagles and hawks that spells their distinguishing physical characteristics. In this connection, both birds can fall under the taxonomic order accipitriformes although the eagle can also have another branch order named falconiformes.

With the eagle’s size comes the next obvious characteristic which is in terms of power. Yes, eagles are undoubtedly the more powerful bird compared to the hawk. The huge size of the eagle’s wingspan is usually the living testimony for their sheer power. The largest eagles are said to possess a wingspan of as long as 8 feet. Hawks, on the contrary only grow a maximum wingspan of about 5 feet and below.

1. In terms of body size, most eagles are larger compared to hawks.
2. In terms of wingspan, most eagles have greater spans than the hawks.
3. In terms of power, eagles are dubbed as the more powerful bird than the hawks.

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  1. Wow this was not helpful.

    • You made me laugh, but I actually found it helpful enough. It’s good starter material.

    • That was uselesss!

      • Actually it was useful in that now you know it’s a common mistake among most people and that there is no single glaring or obvious difference separating the 2. Just because the explanation is not what you were hoping doesn’t make it “useless”. Sorry that the answer is not something like… well the eagle only comes in blue and the hawk red. Maybe the problem is that you don’t want to spend the time or effort in memorizing the 2 species, if that’s the case then the only thing “useless” is your thirst for knowledge, or lack thereof. You will learn to take information for what it’s worth and get the most out of it when you hit puberty.

    • Wow, to paraphrase your article “they’re different, because they’re different”.

    • sam and poster that was rude to say all that sam you said.
      wow this was not helpful and poster you said.
      that was useless.

      so you two-2 should write sorry if your reading this.

      • I doubt anyone knows what the heck you’re talking about. Don’t quit your day job because you can’t write worth a damn.

    • If your aunt had balls she would be your uncle

  2. what I want to know, is what is this bird called a “hawk-eagle” and how is it different from hawks and from eagles? since I know that hawks and eagles DON’T interbreed…

  3. Hawks and eagles are both in Accipitriformes, Accipitridae.
    And the word species is ALWAYS species in biology, NEVER specie.

  4. very helpful thank you

  5. beacause hawks and eagles have differint colored eyes and beaks.

  6. Yeah this helped me….a little.
    Im playing poker online and somebody called me a ‘Prairie Hawk’. I needed to know what that meant exactly. I see that this may have been a veiled compliment. So…erm thanks for this?

  7. Ever hear of spell check?

    • have you? “ever heard?”duh

      • Well, in fact, either way, it’s colloquial.

        In the initial comment, “Ever hear of spellcheck?” the presumed antecedent is “Did you”…”ever hear of spellcheck?”

        If one were to ask “Ever heard of spellcheck?”, the presumed antecedent would be “Have you…”

        It’s simply a matter of intent and preference.

  8. Can you change “simples” to “simplest”.
    And it seems that it would be good to start by stating, “There are no particular characteristic or set of characteristics that makes one bird a hawk instead of an eagle, and vice versa.”

    And I don’t know why you start out by saying “It’s hard to admit…”
    Why is it hard?

    Here are two hard-and-fast rules for differentiating the two:
    If they wear green and play with an oblong ball, they are Eagles.
    If they wear mostly red or white and red and they play with a round ball, they are Hawks.

  9. The information was really helpful and they differ from each other

  10. the difference between an eagle and a beagle is to b or not to b

  11. Hawk lives in desert & eagle lives in the mountain. That’s the difference n the article dont even mention that.

  12. You guys really have nothing better in your life to do than nitpick this article?
    Give it a rest. Take what information you can and move on, unless you have something useful to add, don’t criticize.

  13. This is the best thing I’ve ever read in my life. The comments. I’m just here for the comments.

  14. If babies did’nt SUCK so much, they would all die from thirst.. I’m seeing some kids in here. Reply when you start seeing your period.

  15. As a wildlife rescuer, I was surprised that the article missed the most obvious difference. When seen flying overhead, a hawk has generally white to light colored feathers under their wings. But eagles have generally dark wing feathers when seen soaring above. Plus, the true difference in a hawk and eagle is the structure of the eyes. Though the differences can not be seen, An hawks eye is egg shaped (in the skull), while the eagles eye is longer, more tubular.

  16. Hi,
    Thanks for publishing the article. It is very much informative. I am a bird watcher and blog writer. My blog “Birds of India” is about way of identification of different Indian birds. Please visit my blog and give your comment.

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