Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Hawks are opportunistic predators that feed on a wide variety of creatures, including small rodents and birds, scaly reptiles and amphibians, and even carcasses. Reptiles are included in this category as well. Hawks, especially those living in deserts or other dry areas, frequently feast on lizards.

Do Hawks Eat Lizards

In this article, we’ll discuss hawks and lizards in further depth.

What you’re about to learn is this

  • Will a hawk try to eat a lizard?
  • Hawks hunting lizards using what method?
  • Do lizards have a chance against hawks?
  • Do lizards pose a threat to hawks?
  • Which birds typically feast on lizards?
  • How do hawks find their prey?
  • To what extent do hawks prey on tiny animals?

That means there’s a lot for us to discuss!

Sounds fantastic, right? Very intriguing material that I know will appeal to you.

Okay, so let’s begin!

Would a Hawk Eat a Lizard?

Do Hawks Eat Lizards-2

But a hawk might devour a lizard if it happens to spot one.

In order to blend in with their muddy surroundings, lizards have evolved elaborate patterns and textures on their skin.

However, due to their status as ectotherms, lizards are quite easy to track down.

As a result, they require sunbathing in order to maintain a healthy internal temperature.

Further, most lizards prefer to remain low to the ground and can only run at speeds of up to 15 mph.

Whereas the typical hawk can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour.

As may be seen from their slower speeds, lizards are an easy prey.

It’s possible that hawks eat lizards more for the sake of convenience than because they’re particularly hungry.

However, there are approximately 5,000 different species of lizards across the world.

These can range in length from 0.8 inches in geckos to 3 meters in monitor lizards.

As a result, the size of a lizard may determine whether or not the hawk treats it as a snack or a full meal.

Although hawks prefer larger prey, they actively pursue lizards during the nesting season due to their convenience and speed of capture.

A hawk chick may consume half an iguana every day, which is a fact you may not have known.

How Do Hawks Hunt a Lizard?

This usually begins with a hawk sitting in a tree and looking for food.

The moment it spots the lizard, the hawk makes a diving attack on the helpless creature.

Small lizards can be grabbed and swallowed whole in less than 5 seconds.

However, big lizards can go up to 300 kilograms in size, and their skins are considerably tougher and rougher.

Thus, these lizards are able to avoid being eaten.

Nonetheless, large lizards are still fair game for ravenous hawks.

How so?

A hawk would usually peck all over a reptile in order to find some tender skin.

But a skilled hawk will first insert its bill inside the ears of a reptile, drawing blood.

When a reptile gets dizzy, it usually stops fighting.

The hawk then inserts a probing talons into the lizard’s eye, easily causing brain damage.

The hawk then proceeds to eat the lizard by nibbling at it from all sides.

After a while, the hawk will throw up the last bits of prey that it hasn’t been able to digest.

To the human ear, that sounds gruesome.

Is it then impossible for a lizard to get away from a trap?

Let’s find out.

Can Lizards Escape From Hawks?

Any lizard found by a hawk is one that has already been eaten.

Some lizards, like the Komodo Dragon, are too large for hawks to take on as prey.

The smaller lizards, on the other hand, can only use their mouths to collect insects.

The capacity to conceal oneself is essential to a lizard’s existence.

In some cases, this may entail:

  1. using camouflage and skin patterns similar to those of chameleons.
  2. Leopard geckos and hawks, for example, keep quite distinct schedules, thus they rarely interact.
  3. Taking off the tail as a distraction.
  4. Living in caves and other hiding places to avoid being seen by predators.
  5. Possessing a beard or horns to make one appear larger than one actually is.

It’s interesting that some lizards are venomous, but that won’t keep a hawk away.

Discussing the dangers of lizards

Perhaps you’re wondering.

Are Lizards Toxic To Hawks?

Hawks are not in any risk from eating lizards.

However, let’s examine the potential risks:

  1. Poisonous Lizards

In contrast to salamanders and frogs, lizards do not typically accumulate venom from their prey.

There are lizards, though, whose skin is venomous but whose meat is safe to eat.

Due to the limited likelihood of raptors ingesting lizard skins, these reptiles do not represent a threat to hawks.

  1. Lizard Venom

Gila Monsters and Bearded Lizards are two examples of venomous lizards.

The venom of lizards is not administered from the upper jaw like that of snakes, which have complex fangs.

The subcutaneous glands in the lizard’s lower jaw are used to secrete the venom straight into the saliva.

This venom, therefore, is stored mostly in the lizard’s brain.

Hawks may be able to consume such lizards without any ill effects, as they avoid the heads.

  1. Secondary Poisoning

Secondary poisoning in hawks may occur if they eat lizards that have consumed rodenticide.

This has primarily been reported in rural settings.

  1. Pathogens

Diseases such as avian pox, trichomoniasis, and aspergillosis may be carried by lizards.

The only source of salmonella for hawks is lizards.

Nausea, diarrhea, fever, and a swollen liver are possible side effects.

Liver fluke in birds may have been caused via contact with lizards.

However, there is a dearth of information about sick hawks.

The poultry business is a typical source for this type of proof.

What Kinds Of Birds Eat Lizards?

A lizard is likely to be swallowed by a bird if the bird is strong enough to defeat it.

High-order raptors are widely regarded as the most important predators of lizards.

Such birds include owls, hawks, kites, eagles, vultures, falcons, and ospreys.

Unfortunately, lizards are a common species and a simple target.

During the breeding season, you can frequently find them lazing in the sun or hanging around in small groups.

As a result, nearly all bird species consume either lizards or lizard eggs.

Budgies, chickens, woodpeckers, and even ostriches are all examples of birds.

Laughably, you may have been under the impression that lizards had it easy.

A hawk’s diet consists of lizards and many other creatures.

Let’s investigate the prey items of hawks.

What Animals Do Hawks Hunt?

The available food determines the majority of a hawk’s diet.

Hawks vary greatly in their hunting techniques, depending on their species.

  1. The Accipiters, often known as forest hawks, have small, rounded wings and long tails. Because of this, these hawks can easily move around trees, expanding their potential hunting grounds.

Therefore, these creatures consider lizards more of a snack than a main course.

  1. The Buteos, including the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), are able to soar for long periods of time because of the contrast between their long wings and short tails. Open areas with a restricted variety of prey are typical habitats for these hawks. As a result, lizards are a staple food for them, and they actively seek them out.

However, a hawk will consume virtually anything.

Certain types of prey are more suitable to particular hawks.

One species of hawk, the Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), is renowned for its skill in the pursuit of its namesake.

While this is going on, Roadside Hawks (Rupornis magnirostris) hunt near busy roads.

Animals like:

  1. Critters like ants, cockroaches, and beetles.
  2. This category includes amphibians including frogs, salamanders, and toads.
  3. Tortoises, snakes, and lizards are all examples of reptiles.
  4. Animals such as ducks, chickens, and a wide variety of birds such as titmice, chickadees, jays, starlings, doves, cardinals, pigeons, and sparrows.
  5. Crustaceans and fish like carps and catfish are examples of marine life.
  6. Mice, rats, rabbits, bats, racoons, and squirrels are all examples of small animals.
  7. Dead animals, especially recent roadkill, are referred to as carcasses.

However, small animals may be of greater concern to you.

Do Hawks Eat Small Pets?

Undeniably, they do.

You have to remember that hawks are the ultimate example of a scavenger.

Therefore, little pets are nothing more than caged snacks.

Therefore, a hawk will devour budgies, cockatoos, lovebirds, and even canaries if given the opportunity.

Most of their diet consists of domestic fowl.

However, their preferred locations are bird feeders in backyards, where they can feast on titmice, jays, finches, and even woodpeckers.

A hawk wouldn’t think twice about killing a small animal just because it’s cute.

Therefore, hamsters, rabbits, turtles, and iguanas are all only some delicacies.

Hawks prey on domestic pets such as cats and dogs.

Hawks typically prefer smaller animals like kittens and puppies, although they have been known to hunt larger canines if they are desperate enough.

The dog will have its intestines ripped out by the hawk’s sharp beak.

Thus, it can conveniently transport its loot.

Even if you haven’t seen a hawk in a while, it’s best to keep your dogs inside if you happen to see one.


Hawks eat lizards, among other things.

Even while lizards are easy to capture, there is a risk that they may carry disease.

The toxicity of lizard skin and skulls causes most hawks to avoid eating them.

With the exception of hawks, almost all birds prey on lizards.

Nonetheless, hawks eat more than just lizards and other wild animals.

A hawk will consume a tiny animal if it gets the chance to.

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