All hawks screech while flying, the male hawk screeches in the rutting season to mark his territory, when other hawks stalk his territory, hawks are seen screeching as a way of maintaining their territory.
Hawks are a type of bird that is present almost everywhere in the world, watching hawks screeching is an attraction for people who come to natural parks and other places to observe them, their species almost reach 50. Although they differ in some physical aspects, their behaviors and habits are very similar.
If you want to know more about the way they communicate, and the different causes for which they emit their screeching, here you will find it.
How do hawks communicate?
Peregrines, like many birds, have auditory and visual communication when the male courts the female and invites her to perform a series of acrobatics, they make flights in the form of spirals where the male gives the female some prey, while the female takes it from the same claws of her suitor, flying in an inverted form to the flight of the male.
The male falcon, with this way of flirting with his suitor, communicates his abilities to keep her and their future offspring, they can make dives to impress the female with their agility and speed, which is a very attractive love ritual.
They also do it through their behavior, these birds use classification in the sounds they emit, and each of them has a meaning.
When they want to mate, they use several codes in sounds and the way they move for the courtship they use to attract each other, there is also a sound code among hawks to make an evaluation of the partner they are looking for and in the same way when they already have a partner they use a sound code to find each other.
Feeling that they are masters of their territory, they seek at all times the way to protect the area using sounds and aggressive attitudes towards probable intruders, the way to identify each other, so the parent hawks look for their young, and in this same way.
The young communicate to their parents that they are hungry, and the female hawk also communicates her need for food to the male when she is nesting.
In hawks, it is common that these sound codes are different forms of screeching, however, this depends on the species, as there is a variety of these, and depend largely on other factors such as age and gender, in the young these sounds are usually weaker.
In this species of bird, there is a remarkable feature regarding the sexes, the female is always larger than the male, and it is noticeable in the way they screech, communication through the screeches of a macaque hawk has a higher pitched sound than the female.
It can also be common to see hawks screeching out of pain, or to emit alarm signals, announcing dangers to other hawks, there are sounds that hawks emit when trying to communicate at distances, hearing a hawk screeching is an indication that there is another hawk in some very close area.
Among the aspects that stand out in hawks, it has been observed for many years that it is very rare to see them in flocks, their general behavior is that of solitary birds, except when they enter the mating season and when they undertake migrations, and there are species that are more silent, and barely make any noise.
Expert Tip: There are very few species of hawks that try to communicate by making noises when hunting, among this type there is one called Harris, which hunts in small groups and shrieks as a communication signal to facilitate in difficult access terrain.
They use the shrieks to disorient their prey and allow their companions to get it within reach.
Why do hawks screech in flight?
Despite what we have mentioned hawks are solitary birds, at times when they migrate and when they must mate. It is common to see groups of them taking to the skies, groups of male hawks gather together trying to earn the right to possess a female.
Seeing hawks screeching while flying means that they are warning the other hawks that they are in their territory, which they vehemently claim by means of these screeches.
Screeching hawks screeching while flying are used as conquest techniques and strategies to convince the intended female, but these are not the only reasons why hawks can be seen screeching in flight.
The dangers that lurk are detected by the hawk in flight, and it uses its screeches to send warning signals to its mate and young, as well as to other hawks that are in the area where it flies. They also have predators to watch out for and sending signals in flight through screeches is very efficient for them.
In general, small hawks, when they learn to fly and start this adventure, screech very frequently during their flight throughout the day. The reason for these screeches is to keep the parent hawks informed about their location, and when they feel insecure.
They use this mechanism to guarantee timely protection against any danger that may lurk around them. When these very young falcons have not yet correctly learned to get their food, they use their screeches to let the parents know that they need to feed, and they have not managed to do so.
This happens very often, falcon chicks learn to fly away from the nest but it takes time to learn to hunt, and during these periods the parents protect them, guaranteeing them their food.
A hawk in flight may screech for other reasons, but it is not common, they may feel any ailment occasionally, they use the hot air boils to reach heights without expending energy, and this gives them satisfaction which they can express in a screech as they glide on the air currents emerging from the hot ground.
Why do hawks screech at night?
The only reason for a hawk to screech at night is because of a sudden and unexpected visit from an intruder animal that wants to harm it, its mate, its young, or in certain cases other hawks nesting nearby, and this is a very rare occurrence, as hawks are not nocturnal birds.
A hawk needs sunlight to be active, these birds wake up at dawn, and sleep and rest at sunset or sunset, so it is not common for them to make screeching noises during nighttime hours.
Because hawks make their nests in very tall trees, on cliffs, and steep rocky mountain areas, it is not common for them to suffer nocturnal attacks by other predators, so these two causes make it almost impossible for hawks to screech at night.
Although they may screech during the night if they are sick and feel discomfort or conditions that cause them pain and prevent them from sleeping and resting during the night.
Peregrines, like other birds, can suffer from ailments, are very prone to swellings in their guts, getting sick from drinking contaminated water, and other common bird diseases, such as internal and external parasites.
Threats to hawks are caused by human modification of the environment and hawks suffer unexpected blows during their flights, crashing into glass in buildings, when these do not cause death, they do cause injuries that cause intense pain.
Hawks are the preferred habitat for many microorganisms that have the property of transmitting a variety of diseases to them, so this is another probable cause for a hawk to make screeching noises at night. A hawk can hunt nocturnal prey at the beginning of the day when these prey is looking for their shelters to sleep the day.
And also between dusk and the beginning of the night, when this prey is ready to leave their shelters or burrows to make their living during the night, but they never try to hunt in the darkness of the night, because their vision in the dark does not have the sharpness that it has under the sunlight.
Expert Tip: There is a great variety of nocturnal birds of prey, and just as hawks screech during the day. These nocturnal birds screech for a variety of reasons during the night because they seek to mate because they want to mark territory.
Because they feel threatened because they want to send signals of communication with their partners, offspring, or other birds of the same species. These nocturnal birds also screech to warn of events, such as good hunting, and it is likely that these screeches are mistaken for those of a hawk, but that is far from the truth.
Why do hawks screech in summer?
During the first days of March, on the eve of spring, hawks mate. Females lay two to three eggs, which nest depending on the species, between 24 and 35 days, and once the chicks are born, the mother takes care of them until the beginning of summer when they can fly out of their nests.
During this adaptation period, the young falcons are left alone in the middle of the summer to learn how to get their food, this takes some time, and during this time they are seen screeching while flying during this adaptation period, the baby falcon is not happy and screeches constantly.
They screech during the summer because they feel unhappy, they are not autonomous to get their own food and come to feel abandoned by their parents, screeching try to warn them that they are in need, screeching for help, parents, let them overcome this stage, it is the only way they can then survive alone.
When you hear the screeching of a hawk in summer, it is probably not even three months old and it is crying for help, or it is expressing the frustration of not being able to get food.
Do hawks screech when hunting?
There are only one species of hawk that usually screeches when hunting as we have mentioned above, it is called the Harris hawk, and it does so for a very specific and convenient reason.
This kind of hawk is one of the few species that live in groups, and in this way they look for their food, they carry out the work of searching and hunting prey among several specimens, and among them, they communicate by means of sounds, a form of screeching is a signal used during the hunt.
This group of hawks acts in a very intelligent and strategic way, one of the birds in the group emits a screeching sound that sends the prey in the direction in which their fellow hawks are hunting.
The other way in which a hawk screeches while hunting can occur if there is the mating season when they are hunting, so you will see several males behind the female hawk, in this case, the hawk that feels he owns the territory is the one that screeches to claim his sovereignty in the area.
While the other males may also be emitting screeches during the hunt to try to get closer and impress the female. There is a very fundamental and powerful reason why under normal conditions, hawks do not screech when trying to hunt their prey, and that is that the screech would alert the animal they want to capture.
And usually, the preferred prey of hawks are very fast and elusive animals, and when they hear the screech of a hawk they will try to get to safety.
Expert Tip: Under normal conditions, hawks use their impressive speed to surprise their victim without the latter being aware of their presence, since they take advantage of this speed to strike with their claws, causing the instantaneous death of their prey.
Hawks are birds that through the ages have had different meanings for different cultures, and in all cases have represented a symbol of power, audacity, vision, and courage.
That impetus that exhibits with authority when claiming with its screeching its area, conquering its mate, and claiming its food, shows a unique authenticity of a bird that radiates power, haughtiness, beauty, and freedom.