An Eagle attacking a rabbit.

14 Birds That Eat Rabbits (with Photos, ID & Info)

There are many birds that eat rabbits, but there are some that are particularly good at it. These birds have evolved to be excellent predators of this small prey, and they often have specialized hunting techniques that make them successful. Some of the most common birds that specialize in eating rabbits are listed below.

Types of Birds That Eat Rabbits

Bald Eagle

A Bald Eagle foraging on the ground.
Image by steve felberg from Pixabay

Bald eagles are one of the most majestic and recognizable birds in North America. They can be found ranging from the tundra of Alaska to the rainforests of Florida, and their habitat varies from open water to high mountains.

Bald eagles are expert hunters, able to catch prey that ranges from small fish to large mammals. One of their main food sources is the rabbit, which they consume both fresh and cached.

Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle is one of the most common and widespread birds of prey in North America. This magnificent bird of prey ranges from Canada to Mexico, from the Arctic to Central America, and from the highlands of Guatemala to the lowlands of South Carolina.

The golden eagle is a powerful predator that feeds mainly on large game such as deer, elk. However, it is also known to feed on rabbits and other small mammals.

Cooper’s Hawk

A cooper's hawk perched in a tree.
Image by SK_Zurcher from Pixabay

The Cooper’s Hawk is a common bird of prey found throughout much of North America. This hawk is well known for its range and habitat, which includes much of the eastern United States and parts of Canada, and through much of central and northern Mexico, south to central Brazil, and northeastern Argentina.

The diet of the Cooper’s Hawk includes small rodents and other small creatures, but they are not known to eat rabbits.

Northern Goshawk

A Northern Goshawk perched in a tree.
Image by Erik Karits from Pixabay

Northern Goshawks are very common in the eastern U.S., and their range extends all the way to the west coast. They are very adaptable birds, and can live in a variety of habitats, from forests to urban areas.

They primarily eat prey, such as squirrels, rabbits, and other small mammals, but they will also eat birds and eggs.

Northern Harrier

A Northern Harrier perched on a tree stump.
Image by Veronika Andrews from Pixabay

The Northern Harrier is a small, but powerful bird of prey that can be found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a medium-sized raptor that typically weighs almost two pounds and has a wingspan of around seven feet.

The Northern Harrier mainly feeds on rodents such as squirrels, but will also take small birds and even small mammals as prey.

Red-shouldered Hawk

A Red-shouldered Hawk perched on top of a bird feeder.
Image by Lyn50 from Pixabay

The Red-shouldered hawk is a beautiful and powerful bird of prey that ranges throughout much of North America. They are considered to be one of the most common hawk in the United States, but are also found in a number of other countries.

The red-shouldered hawk primarily eats small mammals, such as rabbits, but they will also eat other birds, insects, and carrion.

Rough-legged Hawk

A Rough-legged Hawk perched in a tree.
Photo by USFWS on Pixnio

Rough-legged hawks (Buteo lagopus) are common and widespread birds in North America. They are found from the Arctic tundra to the southernmost deserts, and they inhabit a range of habitats including forests, meadows, and agricultural areas.

Rough-legged hawks are opportunistic feeders that consume a variety of small animals, but they especially eat small mammals such as rabbits.

Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed hawk is a common sight in many parts of North America, and its range spans from the Arctic to Central America. They are mostly found in open areas with plenty of food sources, such as fields, forests, and parks.

This bird mainly eats small mammals such as rabbits, but they will also eat birds, eggs, and other smaller animals.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

A Sharp-shinned hawk perched on top of a bird bath.
Image by dbadry from Pixabay

The Sharp-shinned hawk is a small raptor found across North America. They are mainly found in prairies, forests and the open country.

The sharp-shinned hawk’s diet consists of small prey such as mammals, birds and reptiles. They are not known to eat rabbits, however there have been some reports of them hunting and eating rabbits.

Great Horned Owl

A Great-horned Owl perched.
Image by Steve Coray from Pixabay

The Great Horned Owl is the largest owls that can be found in North America. It has a range that extends from the central United States to the Northernmost parts of Canada, and it can be found in most of the Eastern half of the continent.

The Great Horned Owl is mainly a nocturnal bird, but it will also forage during the day. It feeds primarily on small mammals such as squirrels, but it will also eat birds and other animals.

Great Gray Owl

A Great Gray Owl perched on a fence.
Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay

The Great Gray Owl is a large owl that can be found in many parts of the United States. The owl ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, and it is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, open areas, and urban areas.

Great horned owls are predators and their diet consists mainly of small animals, such as rodents, hares, and rabbits.

Snowy Owl

A Snowy Owl perched on a tree stump.
Image by Volker Glätsch from Pixabay

Snowy Owls are one of the most iconic owls in North America. These raptors are found in all six Canadian provinces and two states in the US. In Canada, they inhabit areas that range from the tundra to the boreal forest, but they are most common in open habitats near water.

Snowy owls eat a variety of small animals, but they are especially fond of eating lemmings, rabbits, voles and squirrels.


The Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is a formidable raptor native to the Northern Hemisphere. As the world’s largest falcon, it can reach weights of up to 2.7 kg (6.1 lbs).

With a broad presence spanning North America, Eurasia, and Africa, this impressive bird predominantly preys on rabbits, occasionally targeting other small mammals and birds.

Peregrine Falcon

A Peregrine Falcon perched.
Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay

The Peregrine Falcon is a large, graceful bird of prey that ranges throughout the world. It holds the honor of being the fastest bird in the world.

The peregrine falcon is found in many different habitats, including open fields, mountains, and cities. It feeds primarily on small prey such as rodents, birds, and bats, but has been known to eat rabbits on occasion.


In conclusion, the fascinating world of birds that prey on rabbits showcases the remarkable diversity of nature’s hunters. From the majestic eagles soaring high in the skies to the cunning foxes and weasels on the ground, these avian predators have adapted to various ecosystems and developed unique hunting techniques.

They play an essential role in maintaining ecological balance, helping control rabbit populations and ensuring the survival of other species. As we’ve explored this comprehensive guide to 18 birds that eat rabbits, it’s clear that nature’s intricate web of relationships never ceases to amaze.

So, the next time you spot one of these formidable hunters in the wild, take a moment to appreciate their role in the circle of life.


  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder and author of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. As a dedicated moderator and contributor to Quora's Bird Watchers' Club, he actively engages with the birding community, where his insightful answers have garnered over 440,000 views and over 2,670 upvotes. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service.

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