Hawks are a group of medium-sized diurnal birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Hawks are widely distributed and vary greatly in size. The subfamily Accipitrinae includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, sharp-shinned hawks and others. A bird of prey, predatory bird, or raptor is any of several species of bird that hunts and feeds on rodents and other small animals. They catch their prey with their talons, otherwise they aren't actually birds of prey.