Birds of the Bible – Hawks

Hawks are roughly divided into two groups: Buteos and Accipiters. The “Buteos are chunky hawks with broad wings and short, wide tails. They may soar for hours…with hardly a flap of their wings, and often perch in the open.” “Accipiters are slim hawks with relatively short rounded wings and long tails. They are in the woods, and “pursue prey with stealth and agility.” Quotes from p.108, Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America.

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (Lev 11:16 and Deu 14:15 KJVR)

“Large hawks were numerous in Palestine. The largest were 2 ft. long, have flat heads, hooked beaks, strong talons and eyes appearing the keenest and most comprehensive of any bird. They can sail the length or breadth of the Holy Land many times a day. It is a fact worth knowing that mist and clouds interfere with the vision of birds and they hide, and hungry and silent wait for fair weather, so you will see them sailing and soaring on clear days only. These large hawks and the glede are of eagle-like nature, nesting on Carmel and on the hills of Galilee, in large trees and on mountain crags. They flock near Beersheba, and live in untold numbers in the wilderness of the Dead Sea.” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

The Buteos in North America are:
Red-tailed Hawk (19″, wingspan 50″, with a red tail)
Rough-legged Hawk (21″, wingspan 53″)
Ferruginous Hawk (23″, wingspan 56″, our largest buteo)
Broad-winged Hawk (16″, wingspan 34″, crow-sized, soars with wings flat)
Red-shouldered Hawk (17″, wingspan 40″, red shoulders and chest)
Gray Hawk (17″, wingspan 36″ )
Swainson’s Hawk (19″, wingspan 51″, brown chest-band)
White-tailed Hawk (20″, wingspan 51″, soars with wings in a V)
Short-tailed Hawk (16″, wingspan 36″, small with big-headed look)
Harris Hawk (21″, wingspan 46″, black tail with white base and tip)
Zone-tailed Hawk (20″, wingspan 51″, broad white band on tail)
Common Black Hawk (20″, wingspan 50″, very broad wings)
Accipiters (‘built for agility and burst of speed”) are:
Sharp-shinned Hawk (12″, wingspan 25″)
Cooper’s Hawk (18″, wingspan 32″)
Northern Goshawk (22″, wingspan 43″)



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