Given the size and nature of a goose, it’s normal to wonder whether it will fall victim to a hawk or not. Regardless of how vicious a goose is, a hawk remains the same- dangerous and carnivorous. So, do hawks eat geese?
Even though geese aren’t a common part of a hawk’s diet, a hawk may hunt and eat a goose every now and then. It largely depends on the food available in that area and whether the hawk is attacking alone or with a pack.
To learn more details about the encounter between a hawk and a goose, make sure you go through the entire article. But first, let’s take a look at whether hawks hunt geese or not.
Do Hawks Hunt Geese?
Geese are larger and more aggressive in nature compared to other birds that often become victims of the hawk diet. Nonetheless, a hawk may still go for a goose if there is a scarcity of other small-sized food available in that area.
Some other factor also contributes to this situation. For instance, if geese are roaming around in a pack, a lone hawk may not attack the pack. On the contrary, if the hawk is hunting in packs, geese can make an easy target for it.
Depending on the area, hawks can even hunt and lift a large-sized goose. On the contrary, a goose may not be in a hawk’s routine diet if there are enough small mammals available for the hawks to hunt.
The simple answer is yes. Every now and then, hawks will hunt down geese and kill them for their meal. But most of the time, hawks depend on whatever food is available for them to hunt during that time in that particular area. For the same reason, the hawks in the wild have a different diet than the hawks in the city.
Do Geese Scare Off Hawks?
Geese scaring off a hawk is not an uncommon scene either. Unlike most birds that run for their lives, a goose does not go without a fight. If a lone hawk attacks a pack of geese, the geese may even be successful in scaring the hawk.
The large size and aggressive nature help the geese to survive hawks sometimes. However, as mentioned earlier, if the hawk is hunting in packs, the geese hardly stand a chance against it.
People who have geese often keep them in an open pen even when there’s a chance of birds of prey like hawks attacking them. The reason is that geese do not go without a fight. And when a flock of geese is fighting against hawks, the ruckus easily alarms the owner, who can then scare away the hawks.
Do Hawks Eat Goslings?
Much like geese, goslings aren’t a common target of the hawks. However, they’re comparatively easier to hunt because of their small size and lack of survival skills like the adult geese. So, hawks can easily attack and hunt a gosling.
When there aren’t enough rodents and other small mammals available for a hawk to hunt, it may prefer a gosling if that’s what’s available at the time. Goslings aren’t aggressive like adult geese and can’t fly, making it easier for the hawk to hunt them. In some areas, goslings are responsible for filling a large part of a hawk’s diet. On the contrary, in some areas, hawks may not go for goslings at all.
So, this depends on the availability of other food for hawks. If there aren’t enough animals to hunt for the hawks, they may go after a gosling. It’s not a common occurrence, but it happens.
Do Hawks Eat Goose Eggs?
Hawks often go for bird eggs, and goose eggs are no exception. Note that birds of prey like hawks prefer hunting down their prey before feasting on them. So, going for bird eggs is only suitable for hawks when they come across a nest.
Baby hawks go for bird eggs because of their lack of skills in hunting. So, geese often aggressively watch out for their eggs to protect them from predators like hawks. Eggs can be an excellent source of nutrition for carnivorous animals. That’s why goose eggs are never safe from birds like hawks.
Do Hawks Eat Dead Geese?
Multiple times red-tailed hawks have been seen feasting on dead animals. This includes larger species like deer. Geese aren’t an exception, either. When available, hawks will feed on dead geese. However, this is not the preferred way of feeding for hawks.
In times when there are fewer animals out there to hunt, roadkill and leftover dead animals become mandatory for hawks. That’s why hawks feasting on roadkill is a common scenario in winter.
Other Predators Of Geese
Even though geese are aggressive in nature, it doesn’t help with the predators. There are a lot of animals that often hunt for geese, goslings, and goose eggs. Let’s take a look at them.
- Snapping Turtles
As you can see, the answer to whether hawks eat geese or not depends on a few factors. The available food in the area, whether the hawk is in a pack or not, and whether the goose is in a pack or not are to name a few.
It can be said that geese aren’t a common part of a hawk’s food habit. Nonetheless, when the environment is rough, and there are few foods available, hawks might attack geese, even if they defend themselves rigorously.