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What Are Hawks Afraid Of? (Animals & Repellants)

Hawks are most afraid of owls, eagles, crows, other birds of prey, and other predators such as wolves. If you’re looking to scare away a hawk, placing a statue of an owl may work.

What are hawks afraid of?

It’s a good question. Hawks are birds of prey and aren’t easily scared. However, some things will scare them off.

By knowing what hawks are afraid of, you can easily get rid of them if they invade your garden.

In this article, we’ll talk about what animals prey on hawks, what hawks are afraid of, how to keep hawks away using the information provided, and more.

Animals That Prey on Hawks

There are several animals that prey on hawks, including owls, eagles, crows, other hawks, wolves, snakes, and more.

Hawks are not alone in the sky. There are many other birds of prey, such as owls, eagles, and falcons.

Here are the most common animals that prey on hawks.

Related: What eats hawks?

1. Owls Prey on Hawks at Night

Owls are nocturnal hunters, and they do prey on hawks. Hawks are raptors that hunt during the day. Owls can take advantage of this by hunting at night when they are less likely to see them coming[1].

Many owl species have a hunting technique known as “silent flight”[2]. This allows them to be stealthy when hunting. 

By flying extremely quietly, they can sneak up on their prey completely undetected until the last second before the kill.

Hawks spend the nighttime sleeping in their nest. Hence, owls have no problem surprising their prey.

owl at night

2. Eagles May Attack Hawks

Hawks and eagles often view each other as competitors, however, eagles are much larger than hawks. 

Eagles regularly scavenge carcasses or steal kills from hawks. They may also prey on hawks, especially if no other food is around. As eagles are much bigger, and faster, they have no issue hunting down a hawk.

Eagles

3. Crows Attack Hawks as a Group

Crows sometimes display a phenomenon called mobbing behavior. It happens when a group of crows harass a larger bird. This is crows’ natural response to survive against larger predatory birds[2].

The crows will attack the hawk relentlessly, even beak-banging it or dive-bombing it to scare it away. It often occurs when the crows feel threatened by the presence of other birds, primarily predators.

crow flying

4. Wolves & Other Predators

Hawks, especially red-tailed hawks, are a common sight in open fields, but they do also live in the forest. Here, they mostly prey on small birds.

But the forest is not always safe, as it’s full of other predators.

Wolves are known for hunting in packs, especially if they’re hunting for larger prey. Sometimes, wolves will try to hunt birds. They make use of the element of surprise, as they need to catch the birds before they fly away.

Foxes, bears, coyotes, and similar predators all eat birds from time to time.

Gray wolf, Canis lupus, eat meat in the winter forest.

5. Snakes & Raccoons Steal Their Eggs

Another threat to hawks is snakes and raccoons. Although these animals wouldn’t dare attack a fully grown hawk (unless it’s a large snake), there are instances where raccoons and snakes steal a hawk’s eggs.

Bird eggs are an excellent source of protein. That’s why it’s hardly surprising that some animals steal them from a hawk’s nests and eat them. 

Hawks are very aware of this and do everything they can to protect their eggs.

racoon standing on grass

6. Other Hawks May Also Attack

Hawks are predatory birds that hunt and feed on a range of prey, including other birds. But they don’t only prey on other species, as some hawks will attack other hawks.

Hawk

How to Keep Hawks Away

There are several ways to keep hawks away from your garden, including hawk deterrents, noise deterrents, keeping food away from them, and shielding any food sources.

Hawks are considered a nuisance by many people. 

One reason people don’t want hawks around is that they’re birds of prey. Hawks feed on a wide range of prey, including pets and livestock.

Here are a few ways to help keep hawks at bay:

  • Use hawk repellants and deterrents
  • Use noise deterrents
  • Remove food sources
  • Keep animals inside, or in a shelter
  • Shield bird feeders

Repellants & Deterrents

There is a vast number of products to choose from when it comes to protecting one’s yard from predatory birds. Some have been around for decades, while others are relatively new to the market.

The first group of deterrents, and one of the most efficient, are “Owl Decoys”

These are life-sized statues of owls. They look very realistic and hence are made to trick hawks into thinking there’s an owl in your yard[3].

Owl Decoy for hawk

In other instances, water can be used as a deterrent

A simple hose can be set up with a sprinkler head attached to it, which causes the liquid to spray out every so often. The movement and sound of the liquid help keep many birds away.

You can also use “Reflective Deterrents”. These are easy to set up. They reflect light in the area to give the appearance of movement.

Noise Deterrents

An increasing number of homeowners are using noise deterrents to keep unwanted wildlife away. These machines produce high-frequency sounds that only wild animals can hear. These are also known as ultrasonic bird repellers.

An ultrasonic bird repeller works by sending out sounds that can only be heard by birds. This way, the sound doesn’t affect humans or pets.

These devices are effective due to their erratic, irritating, and loud noises (as stated, they only affect birds).

You can also use other sounds to scare away hawks, including a recording of a predator’s call, or the barking of a dog.

Remove Food Sources

The best way to keep hawks away is to remove things that they are attracted to. The biggest attractor is food.

Removing any food sources from your yard will most likely cause hawks to stay away, and any existing hawks will leave.

If you keep birds in your yard, there is a good chance that hawks are eyeing them up.

If you’re ground-feeding your animals, make sure to clean up afterward; or simply switch to another method of feeding.

hawk scavenging

Keep Animals Inside

If you have small pets, or other animals, in your yard or home, bring them inside. Any hawks around are most likely looking to prey on them.

The best thing to do, when you see a hawk in the area, is to bring your animals inside. Hawks are naturally afraid of what they cannot overpower (i.e what might overpower them) and what better way for something like that to happen than if they make themselves prey? The sight of an animal running away is what they’re looking for, what they consider to be prey. If it’s on the ground and doesn’t see them yet, you better believe they’ll take the opportunity!

Shield Your Bird Feeders

Hawks often prey on birds. They’re very intelligent and have learned that birds tend to be drawn to bird feeders. Hence, if you have a bird feeder, make sure to shield it.

Birds are attracted to bird feeders. Hawks are attracted to birds. Hence, hawks also hang around bird feeders, waiting for any unsuspecting birds to feed.

Building a fence, or another form of shielding, around the bird feeder, should keep the hawks at bay.

bird feeder

What Sounds Are Hawks Afraid Of?

Hawks are afraid of loud noises. They can be scared away by barking dogs and other animals that make similar sounds.

Here are some of the most effective sounds to scare a hawk away:

  • Loud Banging or crashing sounds
  • Screeching metal
  • Barking from a dog
  • Other Animal Sounds
  • High-frequency sounds

Are Hawks Afraid of Humans?

No, hawks are not afraid of humans. They will attack if threatened. They’re neither friendly nor aggressive, towards humans, unless provoked.

Hawks are birds of prey. They live off of their hunting capabilities and typically aren’t scared by humans. While they may keep their distance, like all other wild animals, they’re not necessarily afraid.

If hawks are provoked, harassed, or threatened, they will attack you.

hawk on a mans head

Why Do Hawks Stay Around Your House?

Hawks are typically attracted by food. If they’re staying around your house, there’s a good chance you have something in your garden that they can eat.

A hawk spotted in your backyard is usually just passing through. However, if there’s a food source nearby then the hawk might decide to stick around for a while. 

Some common food sources for hawks around homes are other backyard birds, rodents, small pets (rabbits), or small poultry.

Can You Kill Hawks?

The short answer is no, you can’t kill hawks. They are protected in the United States under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Hawks are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The act protects hawks, as well as over 800 other birds, from being killed or possessed by people in the United States without a permit.

The only exception is if you are granted a special permit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill hawks for scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes. 

However, the permit cannot allow the intention to sell hawk parts; it must be used for noncommercial purposes (no resale of hawk parts).

Related: Are hawks dangerous?

Conclusion

Hawks are afraid of other predators, including birds of prey and predators 

If you want to learn more about what else makes them tick or if they can be observed in your area, read our other articles on this topic!

About Kaitlin Mullins

Birds are plenty, and they can be hard to keep track of. Thankfully, Katilin Mullins has taken charge of these. With plenty of free time spent bird watching, she’s a true expert on these intriguing animals.