Difference Between Dove and Hawk-7 Things You Never Knew

Nov 20, 2023
Why is Difference Between Dove and Hawk

Dove and Hawk: Hawk and dove are extreme birds in terms of their behavior. Doves are beautiful, tender, and delicate. They represent peace and tranquility. Hawk is viewed as a cruel and clever bird, full of violence and aggression. These two birds are opposites, and this has led to their use as adjectives when describing people who display either the dove or hawk qualities.

Definition of Dove and Hawk Birds

Hawk and dove are two different birds of prey with distinct traits and symbolic meanings. Doves tend to be smaller and have a peaceful temperament while hawks can be aggressive hunters; doves are known for their gentle cooing sound while hawks boast loud cries and sharp teeth – each species boasting different strengths that set it apart from one another.

Difference Between Dove Vs Hawk

  • Hawk and Dove are two distinct species of birds when it comes to their behavior, each representing one side of an opposing spectrum- Dove is delicate and tender-hearted while Hawk is known for being cruel and violent – qualities which have inspired these terms as adjectives describing individuals who display either characteristic.
  • Politics is where dove and hawk become especially significant in our vocabulary. No one knows when these terms were first employed to refer to politicians, but now it has become common to refer to anyone actively advocating war as “Hawk,” while politicians who appear more concerned with peace-building efforts on the battlefield are described as Doves.
  • As America fought Vietnam, most citizens opposed the war due to its costs and long-drawn-out nature. Those in favor of continuing and sending more troops were known as hawks while those opposed wanted soldiers back out were known as doves.
  • George Bush, who initiated the Iraq war, has long been seen as being on the more hawkish end of political discussion while Hillary Clinton has long been considered more moderate and even dovish in this arena.




Category Doves Hawks
Physical Characteristics Small to medium-sized, plump, rounded bodies, small beaks, short, rounded wings, pointed tails, muted colors Large, strong, muscular bodies, hooked beaks, broad wings, tapered tails, dark plumage
Behavioral Differences Peaceful, seed-eaters, monogamous, form flocks, avoid aggression Aggressive hunters, carnivorous, solitary or in pairs, defend territories, build large nests
Habitat and Distribution Found in forests, grasslands, deserts, and urban areas, distributed worldwide Found in open habitats such as grasslands, deserts, and forests, distributed worldwide
Symbolic Significance Associated with peace, love, purity, and innocence Associated with power, strength, freedom, and courage

Physical Characteristics

  • Doves and hawks can be distinguished from one another by the differences in their physical traits that set them apart.
  • Doves are small to medium-sized bird species with round, plump bodies and thin beaks that typically croak distinctive crowing calls. Their wings tend to be short with short wingspan. Their plumage tends to be light and delicate with muted colors like gray, brown, and white plumage that give off subtle tones of lightness and sophistication. Doves can often be recognized through their distinctive calls.
  • Hawks are larger predators with muscular, strong bodies and hooked beaks that allow them to soar through the sky and dive down with sharp beaks to catch prey, their feathers usually dark with shades of brown, grey, and black ranging from their plumage. Furthermore, these animals possess powerful talons which they use to secure and catch prey quickly and take it down with great force.
  • Physical differences between hawks and doves can usually be seen in their body shape, plumage, and talons.

Behavioral Differences

  • Hawks and doves exhibit distinct behavioral distinctions that reflect their lives and hunting strategies.
  • Doves are mostly seed eaters and enjoy feasting on an assortment of fruits, grains, and insects. They tend to avoid conflict or aggression in favor of creating bonding pairs that create monogamous relationships with their companions; doves typically build simple nests on branches in protected environments such as trees.
  • Hawks are predatory carnivores that feed on small mammals such as rodents, reptiles, birds, and rodents. Skilled hunters who utilize their sharp eyesight and strong talons to capture or kill prey using aggressive territorial guarding tactics against other birds as well as large nests built within trees or on cliff faces are used by these raptors.
  • Doves tend to be more social and form groups in non-breeding seasons, while hawks prefer living alone or in small groups. Their different behaviors reflect their distinct habits and hunting strategies.

Habitat and Distribution

  • Doves and hawks exhibit distinctive habitat and distribution patterns that reflect their ecological needs and migration routes.
  • Doves can be found in many habitats, from grasslands and forests, urban environments, and deserts to urban spaces and urban deserts. Their species inhabit different regions around the globe- some inhabit America while others can be found across Europe and Asia or even in Australia and Africa. Certain varieties migrate long distances annually in order to reproduce and feed.
  • Hawks generally inhabit open habitats like deserts, grasslands, or forests and hunt prey with ease. Hawks can be found worldwide; certain species inhabit North America while others reside across Europe and Asia as well as Africa and Australia. Many hawk species migrate long distances every season in search of mating partners or food.
  • Doves and hawks generally share similar distribution and habitat patterns and can both be found worldwide, though their patterns of migration could vary based on ecological requirements or other variables.

Symbolic Significance

  • Doves and hawks have long been associated with significant symbolic meaning and thematic associations across different regions of the world.
  • Doves have long been associated with love, peace, and purity. Within Christianity they represent God or the Holy Spirit and symbolize forgiveness and peace; while in other traditions doves have also been connected with fertility and love – they’re often used in wedding ceremonies or romantic occasions as an ode to innocence and purity.
  • Hawks are often associated with strength, power, and freedom. In certain cultures, hawks may serve as messengers from god or are thought to represent wisdom and foresight. According to Native American culture, hawks are considered sacred animals which represent protection and spiritual guidance – as well as serving as symbols of strength and courage in military or sports teams.
  • Doves and hawks both possess symbolic meanings as well as cultural ties that reflect their differences, with doves usually being associated with peace and love while hawks can symbolize power or freedom.

Similarities between Dove and Hawk

Here are a few similarities between them:

  • National Interest: Doves as well as the hawks are focused on their nation’s national interests. Although they may have differing views on how to attain and safeguard these goals but both sides ultimately would like to do what they think is best for their nation.
  • American Patriotism: The doves, as well as the hawks, are driven by a feeling of patriotic zeal and a need to ensure the safety as well as security for their nation. Their divergent opinions about how to do this stem from their respective interpretations of what constitutes the ideal way to go about it.
  • Policy Debate: Both perspectives are essential to healthy debates on policy in a nation. The squabble between hawkish and dovish views lets decision-makers think about a range of possibilities before coming to a conclusion or making a choice.
  • Influence on policy: Doves and hawks can have an impact on the process of making policy. Based on the political environment and the force the arguments they make, each could gain prominence and influence the direction of a nation in its foreign relations.
  • Adjustment to the Situation: Both doves and Hawks could alter their positions depending on the changing situation. If, for instance, diplomatic efforts are promising even hawks may be in favor of negotiations, while doves may support some form of military intervention when diplomacy isn’t working.
  • The desire for security: Both hawks and doves are keen to ensure the safety of their country and its citizens. They could differ on their approach and hawks tend to favor the strength of military and preparedness, whereas doves could concentrate more on diplomatic solutions.
  • Prevention of Conflict Exacerbation: Doves and hawks are determined to stop conflicts from growing into massive conflicts or crises. While hawks could advocate for a strong deterrent Doves could prefer peaceful resolutions in order to limit the possibility of an escalation.
  • The Consequences of the Use: Both views are aware of the possible effects of their respective policy. Hawks focus on demonstrating power without starting conflict, while doves focus on minimizing casualties and ensuring peace.
  • Realist: The doves, as well as Hawks typically view international relationships with a realistic lens realizing the importance of power dynamics as well as the necessity of protecting our national interests in a crowded globalized world.

Variability in Categories: It’s important to understand that not all those classified as hawks or doves have the same views. There are significant differences in each category, including certain doves promoting restricted military intervention under certain circumstances, and hawks arguing for diplomatic options when it is feasible.


Doves and Hawks are two distinct species of birds with distinct physical traits, behaviors, habitat requirements, and symbolic meanings. Doves tend to be small to medium-sized birds that exemplify peace and tranquility while Hawks can be large birds of prey with strong hunting abilities that use carnivorous prey birds for food sources – doves are usually seed eaters while Hawks typically hunt carnivorously. Doves symbolize peace while hawks represent freedom and power – knowing this difference could help us better appreciate nature as well as all its creatures who reside there!