The term hawk can be uised in several ways:
- In strict uisage in Australie an Africae, tae mean ony o the species in the subfamily Accipitrinaethat comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The lairge an widespreid Accipiter genus includes gosses, Spur-hawks, the Shairp-shinnit Hawk an ithers. Thir is mainly widland birds wi lang tails an heich veesual acuity, huntin bi sudden dashes frae a concealed perch.
- Mair generally (especially in North Americae) tae mean faucons or smaw tae middlin-sized members o the Accipitridae—the faimily that includes the "true hawks" as weel as eagles, gleds, herry-hawks an bizzarts.
- Lowsely, tae mean awmaist ony bird o prey ootside o the order Strigiformes (ouls).
The common names o birds in sindry pairts o the warld aften uises hawk in the seicont sense. For example, the Osprey or "fish hawk"; or, in North Americae, the various Buteo species (e.g., the Reid-tailed Hawk, B. jamaicensis).
In February 2005, the Canadae ornithologist Louis Lefebvre annoonced a method o meisurin avian "IQ" in terms o their innovation in feedin haunts. Hawks wis named amang the maist intelligent birds based on his scale. Hawks is widely reputit tae hae visual acuity several times that o a normal human being. This is due tae the mony photoreceptors in the retina (up tae 1,000,000 per square mm for Buteo, against 200,000 for humans), an exceptional nummer o nerves connectin thir receptors tae the harns, an an indentit fovea that magnifees the central portion o the veesual field.
- EurekAlert! Public News List:Bird IQ test takes flight - Dr. Lefebvre's AAAS presentation - Feeding innovations and forebrain size in birds (Monday, February 21, 2005)Part of the symposium: Mind, Brain and Behavior
- "Hawks". Avianweb.com. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
- Kirschbaum, Kari. "Family Accipitridae". AnimalDiversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 2010-01-30.