Do Hawks Eat Rabbits

If you are wondering do hawks eat rabbits

The answer is yes

They eat rabbits and other small mammals such as mice, voles and some small birds too

In this article you’re going to learn the following

  • How to keep hawks away from your rabbits?
  • Which other predators eat rabbits so you’re aware

Sound good?

Let’s get started!

Hawks flying around in your area is not a good sign for your pets

They usually eat other small birds but if other preys are present- a hawk would eat them too

Such as

  • Rabbits
  • Rodents
  • Squirrels

They could easily pick a rabbit up so it’s very important to keep them safe

Before we talk about how you could keep rabbits safe from hawks

I want to talk about cooper’s hawks because they are among the more abundant hawks in the US

Let’s look at how a hawk actually kills a rabbit

So unlike other raptors who grab their prey and bite their heads off

A cooper’s hawk would kill their prey by repeatedly squeezing the animal with their powerful talons

They even will drown the animal by holding them under water

Yes they are ruthless which is why it’s important to keep your rabbits safe

Because if they see them chances are they may eat them

Even if they don’t eat them or kill them they can cause considerable amount of harm

Okay, so how do you protect your rabbits from these hawks?

Let’s find out

How To Keep Hawks Away From Your Rabbits?

First and foremost

Never let your rabbit in the garden without being supervised

It’s just not worth the risk

Especially if you know their are dogs and cats about

Maybe your neighbor has a cat or a dog

Cats are quick and can quickly attack your rabbit without you even knowing

Even foxes are known to kill rabbits

Another thing to mention is, your rabbit could squeeze through any cracks or holes

This is very dangerous

So always supervise your rabbit

A fox won’t come around if you are there

But with hawks it’s a different story

They can swoop in and snatch your rabbit just like that!

So how can you stop hawks from taking your rabbit?

Well, if your rabbits hutch is already fox proof this should be okay to stop hawks from taking your rabbit too

Here’s what you could do to deter hawks

Do you have any unwanted CDs?

You could hang them in your yard by tying them to tree branches, bushes and fences

As the light hits the CDs and reflects back onto the hawks eyes, it will confuse them and distract them

This should stop them from landing in your yard

Another way you personally can deter a hawk from landing if you are present is by making a loud sound

Or you could do violent gestures but make sure you don’t hit the bird

These should scare a hawk away

Try to not have bird feeders in your garden because this is a easy place for hawks to source food

You could also place a large owl statue in the yard which could make the hawk think there’s a predator present

Make sure to move the statue around because hawks are very intelligent and will notice if the statue has been stationary for a couple of days

Can a Hawk Pick Up a Rabbit?

There are different types of hawks so it really depends which hawk it is

A coopers hawk won’t pick up an adult size rabbit but a baby size rabbit they could easily pick up

What about a large hawk?

Large red tailed hawks can carry prey that weighs up to 5 pounds according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

This means a large red tailed hawk could carry not just puppies and kittens, but adult cats and dogs from small breeds

A rabbit would be easily picked up by a red tailed hawk

When Do Hawks Hunt?

Hawks hunt just before nightfall

So there’s still light out there but it’s getting dark

This is the perfect time for a hawk to hunt


Because they use this darkness of the dusk time to take cover and hunt – This allows them to not be seen by their prey

They are also active during the day but their hunting takes place near nightfall

In short – Keep your pets safe at all times because you just never know when a hawk could attack

Other Predators That Eat Rabbits (So You’re Aware)

Here’s a list of predators that eat rabbits

  • Foxes
  • Snakes
  • Eagles
  • Hawks
  • Owl
  • Raccoons
  • Dogs
  • Cats

Rabbits are vulnerable and have no defensive skills so it’s extremely important to keep them safe

Final Words

Hawks do eat rabbits

There are different type of hawks

Cooper’s hawks are more abundant in the US

It’s important to keep your rabbits safe from Hawks

They might not even eat the rabbit but they got the potential to cause serious harm

Make sure your rabbits are not outside without any supervision and make their hutch predator proof

Make your garden hawk proof too to deter hawks from ever harming your rabbits!

Related articles you may be interested in about hawks!

Why do hawks circle?

Do hawks eat rattlesnakes? 

Hawk vs Vulture

Do hawks eat crows?

Do hawks eat owls?

Do hawks eat foxes?

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