Do Hawks Eat Lizards? [Best Answer] + 10 Incredible Hawk Facts

Do hawks eat lizards? There is a lot of debate on whether hawks eat lizards. Some people say that hawks do not eat lizards, while others say that hawks do eat lizards.

The answer to this question is not straightforward. Many factors contribute to the answer, such as the type of hawk and the type of lizard. Hawks sometimes eat various kinds of animals from small birds and rodents to amphibians, reptiles, and even carcasses.

So, a lizard is no exception, as hawks usually eat lizards, particularly in arid regions or deserts. In this article, we have got a lot to talk about. Let us get started from hawks eating lizards to how hawks eat lizards and much more.

Do Hawks Eat Lizards?

Hawks are birds of prey.

Yes, a hawk will eat a lizard if it finds one. Though lizards have textured bodies that let them hide from prey, they are easy to find for hawks because they are ectotherms. Also, most lizards stay close to the ground and have a lower speed of around 15mph, while hawks remain above the ground and have as much as 100mph.

So, it is easy for hawks to hunt lizards. Before a lizard could move, a hawk would have speedily grabbed it with its strong claw.

Do Hawks Eat Lizards?
Do Hawks Eat Lizards?

How Do Hawks Hunt A Lizard?

A hawk’s way of hunting any prey is to sit on a tree and scan the environment for the game. Once the hawk finds a lizard, it jumps dives into the reptile. Within 5 seconds of catching a glimpse of a lizard, a hawk would grab and swallow a small lizard. But if a large lizard weighs about 300kg and has rougher and tougher skin, it can resist being eaten by a hawk. Even at that, hungry hawks will still hunt big lizards.

When a hawk catches a lizard, it normally pecks around the body of the lizard to find the soft skin, but an experienced hawk will make sure it kills the lizard by dipping its bill in the lizard’s ears to make it bleed to death before it begins to find the soft skin. The bleeding lizard would start feeling dizzy and then stop fighting. After the lizard stops resisting, the hawk will start to probe the lizard’s eyes almost effortlessly and then bites its way around the body. After eating to its satisfaction, the hawk regurgitates the undigested bones and scales.

Can A Lizard Escape From The Grasp Of Hawks?

Once a hawk catches a lizard, it is almost impossible to escape. Most hawks will not hunt bigger lizards, but the smaller lizards they hunt will find it difficult to escape once caught. The survival of a lizard often depends on its skill to hide from hawks, and this may involve:

  • Staying in crevices to avoid predators
  • Isolating tail to create a diversion
  • Having patterned skins as seen in chameleons
  • Exploring various activity hours
  • Acting larger with a beard or horns

Those are the only ways for a lizard to prevent being caught by a hawk. Interestingly, some species of lizards are poisonous, but the poison cannot stop a hawk from eating a lizard. Once a hawk catches a lizard, the lizard will be gone forever.

What Kinds Of Birds Eat Lizards?

Any bird that can overpower a lizard will likely swallow it. A lizard is a reptile defined as any cold-blooded vertebrate with dry scales. Lizards are found in a wide range of habitats around the world. Some lizards can be found on land, while others live in water or trees. The birds that eat lizards are the hawks, eagles, and owls. The hawks have sharp nails and claws to kill their prey.

Do Hawks Eat Lizards?
Do Hawks Eat Lizards?

They also have keen eyesight and can spot a lizard from a long distance. On the other hand, the eagles are more suited for catching prey while flying. They have large wings with long feathers and nails to easily see their game.

What Animals Do Hawks Hunt?

Hawks are known to hunt small animals like rabbits, mice, lizards, and other rodents. They use their sharp talons and strong beaks to catch their prey. Hawks are hunting birds of prey in the family Accipitridae. These birds have a wide range of game, including mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. The general shape of a hawk is conical with rounded wings. They have broad, powerful hooked beaks and strong legs.

Their plumage often includes dark and light colors, with distinctive patterns that are adaptations for camouflage or warning against the birds’ predators. Many species of hawks are highly valued as hunting birds, while others have been documented as killing more than their weight in animals.
Hawks have also been found to eat:

  • Amphibians like salamanders, frogs, and toads
  • Insects like beetles, roaches, and grasshoppers
  • Birds such as jays, doves, pigeons, cardinals, sparrows, starlings, chickens, chickadees, titmice, and ducks
  • Reptiles including lizards, snakes, and turtles
  • Small mammals such as bats, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, and rodents
  • Marine species such as crustaceans and fish like catfish and carps
  • Carcasses, especially fresh road kills.

Do Hawks Eat Small Pets?

The answer to that is definitely yes. Hawks are opportunistic predators and can swoop on unprotected pets. Hawks will make a meal out of them if you fail to put your birds, such as canaries, lovebirds, cockatoos, and budgies. However, hawks’ favorite hunting ground is backyards with bird feeders where they can easily find birds such as jays, titmice, woodpeckers, and finches.

What Eats Lizards?

Lizards are the most common type of reptile globally, and they are found in different habitats on every continent except Antarctica. They have been around for many centuries. They can be found on land, in the water, and even high up in trees.

Many animals eat lizards, including snakes, birds, and many other flesh-eating predators. All snakes prey on lizards, except lizards that are larger than them, while most birds that eat flesh also prey on lizards. Here are the animals that eat lizards:

1. Hawks

Hawks are predators that feed on lizards. They are very efficient at catching their prey. However, when it comes to hunting for lizards, they may have a tough time because of the lizards’ camouflage. Hawks have sharp eyesight and can see lizards from a long-distance away. They also have powerful paws that help them catch their prey easily.

2. Dogs

Dogs eat lizards, but not all dogs eat them. Some dogs will only eat rodents, and some will only eat meat. Dogs are carnivores and rely on the heart for their nutrition. They also need to hunt for food to survive. If a dog does not have access to meat, it will turn to other food sources like lizards or rodents. Dogs only eat lizards if they are extremely hungry and desperately searching for something to eat.

And only stray dogs tend to do this. Domestic dogs can hardly be found to eat lizards because dog owners tend to provide them with the food needed at the right time. Many dog owners believe lizards are toxic for dogs, but that is not true. Eating lizards is not dangerous for dogs.

3. Snakes

Snakes eat lizards for two main reasons: they are a good source of protein, and they are small enough to fit in the snake’s mouth.
Lizard skin is covered in keratin, a protein found in hair and nails. This means that the snake’s digestive system will digest the keratin. Snakes are one of the biggest predators of lizards.

4. Mongooses

Mongooses are carnivorous mammals that eat lizards. They can also be found in the wild. Mongooses are an interesting species of mammal that live in Africa and Asia. They have a long tongue that they use to catch their prey, including lizards and other small animals. They are known for their audacious attacks on venomous snakes too.

5. Felines

Cats are known for their love of mice and other small animals. But what about lizards? Lizards, just like many other small animals, are eaten by cats. The lizard is swallowed whole or in chunks, but it usually takes a long time for the cat to finish eating the lizard. Cats also have a powerful sense of smell, which easily helps them find lizards.

Do Hawks Eat Lizards?
Do Hawks Eat Lizards?

However, felines only prey on lizards when they deem it convenient. However, domestic cats should not be allowed to eat lizards because they can catch a parasitic liver fluke. Though lizards carry a parasitic liver fluke that does not harm them, it can affect cats when they eat lizards.

6. Spiders

Bigger spiders usually attack smaller lizards, but lizards use generally their speed to run away once they notice the presence of a big spider. Lizard camouflage is another way lizards escape from spiders. Interestingly, the regal jumping spider can eat insects and lizards bigger than it. Studies showed that regal jumping spiders could prey on lizards bigger than them.

7. Humans

People have been eating lizards for a long time. It was not until recently that people realized that they are also an essential part of the ecosystem. Humans eat lizards because they are tasty, nutritious, and easy to catch. They also provide a good source of protein and calcium. While they can be found in many parts of the world, there are some places where humans do not eat lizards at all.

The problem with eating lizards is that some lizards are poisonous, so consuming some types of lizards is not good. Though people who eat lizards do it in an extreme situations when they are desperate for food. Alternatively, some people use different kinds of lizards for skin-making accessories.

Do Hawks Eat Lizards?
Do Hawks Eat Lizards?

8. Raccoons And Possums

If these scavengers are short of food, they can settle for lizards because lizards are easy to catch.

9. Chicken

Chickens are omnivores, so they can eat anything. Depending on how hungry they are and where they are roaming, chickens can easily hunt lizards and eat them.


If you are looking for an answer to the question, “do hawks eat lizards?” the answer is yes. Lizards seem to be the easiest prey to catch and eat.
However, because of pathogens that may be on the skin of a lizard, hawks do avoid eating the skin and head of lizards.

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