Hawks are birds mentioned in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.
"Hawk" is a name applied to birds of prey of the Subfamily Accipitrinae and the Genus Buteo, depending on which country is speaking it. In some areas Buteo members are also called "buzzards", whereas in other a "hawk" is any daytime bird of prey that is not a falcon and not an eagle. This is especially true in North America.
Hawks are generally large carnivorous birds of prey. As with most birds of prey, hawks mate for life and rear one to three or so hatchlings together. Also like most birds of prey, female hawks are slightly larger than males. Most hawk species are some variation of brown, grey, and white. They may have barred patterns, solid color, a lighter belly, or mottling. Hawks are well adapted for hunting, with flesh-rending beaks, long hooked talons for grabbing prey, and keen eyesight for spotting prey from above.
In both the Book series and in real life, the excellent hunting ability of the hawk and other birds of prey have been utilized by humans for centuries. Trained hawks can hunt other birds and mammals for humans. They are highly prized and were typically only owned by aristocrats or others of a high position.
Hawks are mentioned briefly in this Book by Gobber when he begins instructing the young initiates about dragons:
|“||Lesser humans train hawks to hunt for them, horses to carry them. It is only the VIKING HEROES who dare to tame the wildest, most dangerous creatures on Earth!||”|
|— Gobber the Belch|
A sparrowhawk may refer to several species of small-sized hawk - sometimes called 'woodland hawks' - in the Genus Accipiter. Historical Vikings would have encountered the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus).