Home » Beginner's Guide » Do Hawks Attack Humans?

Do Hawks Attack Humans?

Hawks are known for their predatorial nature but the question is do hawks attack humans too?

Hawks will never attack humans unless they feel threatened. Especially, when someone goes too near to their nests then they become very aggressive. Under such conditions, hawks will try their best to fend off the human intruder and maintain the safety of their nest.

However, that’s not all because in some conditions, even if you don’t go near their nest, you may get attacked by a hawk. Now you must be thinking why is that so? why do hawks attack humans? and how much damage they can do to a human.

To know the answers to all of these questions, keep on reading because I’ve explained everything in this article. So without any further ado, let’s get started.

do hawks attack humans?

Do Hawks Attack Humans?

As already mentioned, the answer to this question is both yes and no. Technically, hawks will never attack humans unless they feel threatened but in some cases, even if you don’t go near their nest, you may get attacked by a hawk.

Now the next question that comes to mind is why do hawks attack humans? And the answer to this question is because they see us as a potential threat. Hawks are predators and they view humans as their prey but they will never try to attack humans if they don’t feel threatened.

Now the next question that comes to mind is how much damage can a hawk do to a human? And the answer to this question is that it depends on the size and species of the hawk.

Generally, hawks have sharp talons and beaks which can cause a lot of damage to a human. In some cases, they may even cause death if the victim is not able to get medical attention immediately.

Do Hawks Like Humans?

The answer to this question is a big NO. Hawks will never like humans because we are not their natural prey. Hawks view us as a potential threat and they will always try to fend off any human intruder.

So, the next time you see a hawk nearby, remember that it’s not trying to be friendly with you and stay away from it. Hawks can be very dangerous if they feel threatened.

They are extremely protective of their young chicks and their nests. So whatever you do, make sure you stay away from their nest otherwise you may get attacked.

an angry hawk looking something curiously

Evidence of Hawks Attacking Humans

There are numerous cases of hawks attacking humans. In some cases, the victim was able to get away with minor injuries but in some cases, the victim was not so lucky.

For example, in 2006, a red-tailed hawk attacked 30 people in the village greens golf course in Illinois. In some cases, the hawk managed to snatch away hats or sunglasses from the victims but in some cases, it caused more serious injuries.

In another incident, a hawk tried to attack a baby but the mother was able to fight it off and save her child.

So as you can see, hawks can be very dangerous if they feel threatened. Make sure you stay away from them and always be aware of their presence. Hawks are not something to be taken lightly.

Are Hawks Dangerous to Pets Too?

Just like humans, hawks can also be dangerous to pets. They may not attack pets as frequently as they do with humans but it’s still a possibility.

In some cases, hawks may even snatch away pets if they are left unguarded outdoors. So make sure you keep your pets indoors and safe from any potential attacks by hawks.

If the pet is small such as a frog, a parrot, or something like that then there is a higher chance that the hawk will snatch and fly it away. However, they are not able to lift heavy objects such as cats, dogs, etc.

How do you know if a hawk is in distress?

If you see a hawk that is wandering around and now flying away then there might be something wrong with it. But how can you know if a hawk is in distress or not?

Well, there are a few things that you can look out for. For example, if the hawk is not able to fly properly or it’s wobbling then there might be something wrong with it.

Another sign that the hawk might be in distress is if it’s constantly calling out and making loud noises. This usually happens when the hawk is trying to find its way back to its nest. So, if you hear a hawk making a lot of noise, there might be something wrong with it.

If you see a hawk that seems to be in distress, the best thing to do is to stay away from it and call a professional. Do not try to touch or handle the hawk because you may get injured.

In some cases, hawks may be injured by cars or other objects. If you see a hawk that is injured, the best thing to do is to call a professional. They will be able to help the hawk and take it to a safe place.

How do you stop hawks from attacking?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because the best way to stop hawks from attacking depends on the situation. However, some things that you can do to stop a hawk from attacking are to make loud noises, try to scare it away or throw objects at it.

Under some situations, if the hawk seems too aggressive then you might use pepper spray to fend off the attacking bird. Apart from that, carrying an airsoft gun can also be helpful if you know how to use it.

Additionally, I also saw a self-defense gun on amazon called SALT, it fires BB-type things that are extremely painful and its basic purpose is to stop an animal attack such as wild raccoons, dogs, etc.

There are several ways that you can stop a hawk from attacking, but it depends on the situation. If you feel like the hawk is becoming too aggressive, then try to use some of these methods to scare it away.

But remember, these methods may not always work so it’s best to stay away from hawks altogether.

Can a hawk eat a human?

The next question that most people may have in their minds especially after seeing a hawk attacking a human being. You might want to know whether a hawk can eat humans or not?

The answer to this question is NO! Hawks may attack humans to prevent them from getting too closer to them or their nests. However, they can’t eat human beings because this is not just their nature.

However, it can hurt you really bad therefore, you should always be very careful with them. The idea behind this is that you shouldn’t approach a hawk unless you are knowledgeable about birds, wildlife, and the laws of animals.

a hawk looking for prey

What To Do If a Hawk Tries to Attack You?

Hawks can be very dangerous creatures when they appear to be in distress. It could mean that they’re injured or lost. They can easily become a danger to humans. This means that we must act quickly to protect ourselves and those who would come into contact with them.

When a hawk appears to be in distress, follow these steps to reduce your chances of being attacked:

1) Stay Calm

The first rule for dealing with a distressed hawk is to remain calm. If it appears to be injured, don’t attempt to intervene. Instead, carefully watch the bird and slowly back away. Make sure your hands are visible and don’t reach out toward the hawk. Also, don’t yell, wave arms, or make any sudden movements.

2) Be Quiet

Another important step is to lower your volume. Don’t shout, clap, whistle, or speak loudly. By doing so, you could cause the hawk to focus on you instead of his injury. In addition, by making noise, you may attract other predators which will only put the injured hawk in more harm.

3) Use Pepper Spray

If the hawk continues to stare at you, consider using pepper spray. It won’t kill the hawk immediately, but it will temporarily confuse him, allowing you time to escape. To apply the spray, keep your distance, hold the bottle up to your mouth, open wide, and point at the hawk. Blow the contents into his eyes, face, or feathers.

It’s a good idea to aim for the head area since this is where a hawk typically attacks humans. Although, sometimes, the eye area works better depending on the situation. When spraying, turn your body sideways to avoid the spray hitting yourself.

4) Call Animal Control Services

Although there’s no guarantee that the hawk will leave you alone if you do nothing once he begins his attack, calling Animal Control services (ACS) is still highly recommended. ACS provides trained professionals who can help remove the hawk from your yard safely and humanely.

Also, if the hawk remains aggressive even after two attempts, it may be necessary to euthanize the bird using a firearm. A shotgun blast at close range can be effective if you have access to one.

5) Leave the Area Immediately

If a hawk remains aggressive despite having been sprayed, tried to scare him off or called Animal Control; then, it’s time to leave the area and find somewhere safe. Try to move as quickly as possible, but don’t run.

Instead, walk calmly away while facing the direction of travel. Avoid looking back until you’ve reached a place where you feel reasonably confident. Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing streets.

What are Hawks Afraid Of?

Hawks tend to approach people when they’re either wounded or hungry. However, many times, someone ends up dead because the person didn’t take precautions! The following list includes some things that hawks are afraid of:

Loud Noises: 

The first thing that helps in scaring away hawks is loud noises such as firecrackers. You may have noticed that these birds don’t like to stay in places where there are loud noises on a regular basis. Most hawk species can easily be scared away by producing a variety of loud noises. 

Threatening Motions:

The next thing that can help you in scaring away hawks is by producing threatening motion with the help of something. You may use a bird scare tape or something that moves with air constantly. This way, the hawk would be startled and confused. The best part about using these methods is that it doesn’t require any batteries. Moreover, most of these products work great with little maintenance.


The last option that helps in discouraging hawks from coming into your yard is the use of various deterrents. You can obtain them from local hardware stores or online retailers. These include scarecrows, fake owls, etc. Using a good deterrent will help ensure that no hawks live on your property. 

Final Words?

Do hawks attack humans? The answer to this question is yes, they do but it depends upon the situation. If you go near a distressed hawk then there is a higher chance he or she will consider you as a threat and attack you. 

Besides that, going near a hawk’s nest is also a very bad idea because they don’t like anyone’s presence near their nests. Therefore, if you notice a hawk’s nest nearby, then you should try to maintain a safe distance as soon as possible to save yourself from a hawk dive-bombing on you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful. You can share it with your friends and family too as it encourages me to write more informative articles. 

Thank you for reading!

Happy Birding!


  1. Are conspicuous birds unprofitable prey? Field experiments with hawks and stuffed prey species
  2. Addressing the specificity of affective startle modulation: Fear versus disgust
  3. Flight behaviour of Sharp-shinned Hawks during migration. II: Over water

Similar Posts