Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs? (+ Other Related FAQs)

Do hawks eat hedgehogs? It is a question commonly asked by nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. Hawks are among the most majestic birds of prey in the world, and they have a diet that consists of small mammals, reptiles, and even fish.
If you have wondered what the answer to this intriguing query may be, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will explore the potential of hawks eating hedgehogs and other related FAQs.

Do Hawks Hunt Hedgehogs?

Recent studies have shown that hawks hunt hedgehogs, though it is rare. Hawks prefer to go after smaller prey than the average hedgehog, which can weigh up to three pounds or more. However, when a hawk comes across a wild hedgehog, it will often take advantage of the opportunity and attempt to catch its dinner.

The method hawks use to hunt a hedgehog varies; some birds use their nails and beaks, while others fly over them and swoop down suddenly. After catching the unsuspecting creature, hawks typically carry it off for consumption elsewhere, away from predators or scavengers. There are even reports of hawks playing with their prey before attempting to eat them.

Types of Hedgehogs

Just as there are many different types of hawks worldwide, there are also many hedgehogs. Here are a few examples of the most common:

African Pygmy Hedgehogs

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs

One of the most popular types is the African Pygmy Hedgehog. These hedgehogs are a favorite among pet owners due to their relatively small size and friendly nature. Along with being cute, they make excellent companions for those looking for an exotic pet that is still relatively easy to care for.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs can reach up to 8 inches in length when fully grown, making them one of the smaller varieties of hedgehogs available.

They also have sharp spines on their backs, which help protect them against predators in the wild. Their diet consists mainly of insects and vegetables such as carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes, with occasional treats like mealworms or boiled eggs.

European Hedgehogs

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs

Another well-known type is the European Hedgehog, which is native to Europe and has been introduced into other parts of the world, such as New Zealand.

European Hedgehogs can grow up to 10 inches long with a distinctive coat of brownish-gray spines that protect them from predators. They have a sharp sense of smell and hearing, which helps them detect food in dark places like logs or stones. They have powerful claws for digging burrows for nesting or hibernation during the colder months.

Desert Hedgehogs

One type is the Desert Hedgehog (Paraechinusaethiopicus), which is found in arid desert regions throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East.

The Desert Hedgehog is one of the smaller species of hedgehog, measuring up to 7 inches long with an average weight of between 12-18 ounces. It has short quills on its back that range from grey to yellowish brown and can be either straight or curved, depending on the animal. The underside of the fur is usually light gray or white, providing additional camouflage for hunting prey at night.

Long-eared Hedgehogs

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs

The wild grazing fields and wooded areas are where you can find long-eared hedgehogs, indigenous to parts of Europe and Asia. They have distinguishing features such as a relatively large head and ears compared to other hedgehogs and a thick coat of fur, which helps them survive cold climates.

Long-eared hedgehogs live alone except during breeding season when they form short-term relationships with other species members for mating purposes. They feed mainly on insects but eat worms, plant material, and some fruits if food sources are scarce.

Indian Hedgehogs

The Indian Hedgehog is another popular pet among pet owners due to its small size and easy-going personality. Growing up to only six inches has short spines that come in shades of brown or gray and usually lives for around two years. Despite being small, they can still move at speeds up to four miles per hour!

Somali Hedgehogs

The Somali Hedgehog is a small mammal found in Africa, measuring 6 to 8 inches in length. It has dark brown spines along its back and sides, which make it look like an adorable mini porcupine.
Its spines can be soft or prickly depending on how it feels threatened; when relaxed, they will lay flat against the body, making them appear almost velvety smooth. It also has two large front feet for digging and climbing and two smaller hind feet for walking and running.

Chinese Hedgehogs

Chinese hedgehogs are tiny animals that range in size from six to eight inches in length and two to three pounds in weight. Their bodies are covered with dense spines, and they have short legs with sharp claws for digging.
They have brownish-gray fur on top and a creamy white coat underneath their spines. Chinese hedgehogs also tend to be more active than other types of hedgehogs during the day, often running around and exploring their environment while using their snouts to sniff out food sources like insects or worms.

What Types Of Hawk Eats Hedgehogs?

The red-tailed hawk is the most common hawk preying on hedgehogs. Other varieties of this bird species, however, enjoy eating these small creatures:

Rough-legged Hawk

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs

One possible answer is the Rough-legged Hawk. This large bird of prey can be found in open grasslands and tundras, often hunting for small mammals like voles and lemmings. However, they have been known to prey on hedgehogs as well.

Rough-legged Hawks have a wingspan from 48 to 60 inches, allowing them to cover great distances when searching for food. They typically hunt by hovering in the air, perching on tall trees, and scanning their surroundings for potential meals. Once they spot a hedgehog or other small mammal, they swoop down quickly and snatch it up with their talons.

Ferruginous HawkOne such predator is the Ferruginous Hawk, a large bird found in the western United States and southern Canada. The species prey on small animals like rodents, snakes, and hedgehogs.

They have unique hunting techniques that allow them to catch prey as small as hedgehogs. It typically perches near its prey before swooping down with its powerful talons extended. When successful, the hawk will carry its victim off to eat or store in a safe place until needed later.

Cooper’s Hawk-Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs?

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs

This species of hawk belongs to the Accipitridae family and is known for its agility and speed when hunting.

The Cooper’s hawk prefers to hunt smaller birds, such as doves, sparrows, ducks, and quails. However, their diet also includes small mammals like rabbits and hedgehogs. These birds usually feast on their prey after catching them midair or from a perch in a tree or bush.
They can also sometimes capture animals fleeing from other predators or scavenge the carcasses of previously killed animals.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs

Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs? One particular type of hawk that is known to eat hedgehogs is the sharp-shinned hawk. This species of hawk has a wide range and can be found throughout North America, South America, and Central America.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk preys on small animals such as rodents, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and sometimes even other birds. Their sharp talons can quickly grab their game while in flight or perched.
They will then break apart the body of their meal with their strong beak before eating it whole or piece by piece. However, when a hedgehog is spotted, this type of hawk will likely take advantage due to its size and slow movements.

Can Hawks Pick up Hedgehogs?

The first thing to consider is whether or not a hawk has the physical strength to pick up a hedgehog. Generally speaking, a hawk can physically lift and carry a small-to-medium-sized hedgehog. Still, it would take a vast and powerful bird of prey to lift and carry a giant hedgehog.

Even if a hawk did have the strength necessary to lift and carry away a hedgehog, this behavior would be doubtful since they mainly feed on smaller animals, such as rodents or birds, rather than larger prey, like hedgehogs.

Do Hawks eat Dead Hedgehogs?

The short answer is no. Hawks generally stick to eating live prey like rodents, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. They have been known to scavenge for food occasionally, but this is different from their preferred feeding method.

When a hawk scavenges for food, it usually indicates a shortage of living prey in its area. Dead hedgehogs may contain parasites or other disease-causing organisms that could harm hawks if ingested, so they tend to stay away from them.


Do Hawks Eat Hedgehogs? Yes, hawks eat hedgehogs. It may not be an everyday occurrence, but it has been documented in wild and captive environments.
A hawk’s diet depends on its habitat and the availability of certain prey items. Other foxes, owls, badgers, and cats have also been known to hunt hedgehogs for food.

Related Questions

What are the predators of a Hedgehog?

Hedgehogs are prey to various predators, including foxes, badgers, weasels, and birds of prey. In addition, domestic cats and dogs may also hunt hedgehogs if given the opportunity. Hedgehogs have evolved defenses to protect themselves from predators, such as rolling into a tight ball or emitting an unpleasant odor.

What do Hawks get Eaten by?

Hawks are apex predators, so they don’t typically have natural predators. However, eagles or owls may prey on some more prominent hawks. In addition, humans can also hunt and eat hawks.

Do Hawks eat both Plants and Animals?

Yes, hawks are omnivores and eat both plants and animals. They primarily feed on small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews, but they also eat insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, eggs, carrion (dead animals), and occasionally fruits and berries.

Read more Hawks in Ohio: Check Out All 10 Species.

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