Why Do We Say “Ears Like a Hawk”? (+Similar Sayings)

“Ears like a hawk” is an uncommon saying when someone has good hearing. You might have come across it before and might be a bit stumped by its meaning. This article will explain everything you need to know about why we say it and what similar sayings there are.

Why Do We Say “Ears Like a Hawk”?

Most people do not say “ears like a hawk.” It is an incorrect combination of the phrases “eyes like a hawk” and “ears like a bat.” You cannot combine the two as hawks aren’t known for their good hearing. You should say, “she has eyes like a hawk.”

ears like a hawk

These examples will show you how to use the correct idiom:

  • He has eyes like a hawk. Nothing gets past him! I wish he would stop looking over this way.
  • Wow! You have eyes like a hawk! I can’t believe you’re able to see me from that distance!

You won’t often come across people using “ears like a hawk.” Hawks are predatory birds known for their excellent vision, not their excellent hearing. They’re able to stalk their prey from high above before finally swooping down for the kill.

“Eyes” works best here because it shows someone has great vision. It usually means someone doesn’t miss anything you do, so you need to be careful about your actions around them.

For example, a teacher might have “eyes like a hawk” if they catch you texting under the table. Even though they can’t see your phone and you think you’re being sly, they might still catch you out because of their vision.

All in all, you should not use “ears like a hawk.” You should use “eyes like a hawk” to show that someone sees everything (even when they seemingly aren’t looking).

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Other Sayings Similar to “Ears Like a Hawk”

The best sayings similar to “ears like a hawk” are “ears of a bat,” “ears of a fox,” and “ears of a wolf.” You may use “like” or “of” in the sayings. They are synonymous when using similes to refer to someone’s keen sense of hearing.

1. Ears of a Bat

“Ears of a bat” is the most common way to refer to someone’s excellent hearing. Bats are well-known for their ability to hear because they cannot see.

The phrase “blind as a bat” indicates that bats are incapable of sight. They have very poor vision (some can’t see at all), meaning they have to rely on what they can hear.

That’s why “ears of a bat” works so well. It shows someone has fantastic hearing and won’t miss any sounds.

  • She has the ears of a bat. I highly doubt you’ll be able to do that without her noticing you.
  • I have ears like a bat. If I hear you coming, I will turn you around! Good luck trying to get past me.

2. Ears of a Fox

“Ears of a fox” is another great simile relating to someone’s hearing. It shows that someone can hear as well as a fox (a predator), meaning they are always on the hunt for certain sounds. It’s great when someone is listening intently to try and catch others out.

For example, if someone is talking when they shouldn’t be, they might be doing so quietly and under their breath. A teacher with the ears of a fox will still be able to hear them, and they’ll call the student out for being rude and not listening.

  • You have the ears of a fox. How did you even hear me coming? I was so quiet because it was so late.
  • I’m sorry, but she has ears like a fox. There’s no way I’m going to get through to the other room with her guarding it.

3. Ears of a Wolf

“Ears of a wolf” is a more intense variation of “ears of a fox.” Wolves are more ferocious than foxes. This simile suggests that someone is on the hunt for sounds, and they’ll be alert to them whenever they occur.

You probably won’t want to get on the wrong side of someone with the “ears of a wolf.” You never know how angry they might be if they hear you doing something you’re not supposed to.

  • You have the ears of a wolf, my friend. I’m very impressed that you could hear all of these things.
  • You have ears like a wolf. Has anyone ever told you that? It feels like I can’t do anything to try and sneak past you!

4. Ears of a Cat

“Ears of a cat” is a great saying showing that someone is on high alert and able to hear things when they want to. Like a cat, you might find that people with good hearing also actively ignore certain sounds because they do not concern themselves with everything.

Cats will only pick out the sounds that affect them the most. They’ll listen for prey or other animals to chase off their territory. This can relate to people who only listen for things that might affect them in some way. Everything else is usually white noise and ignored.

  • You have the ears of a cat. I can’t quite believe how much you hear. It’s like nothing can get around you.
  • I have ears like a cat. Don’t try to test me. I’m not in the mood to play around. Just behave yourself and move on.

5. Eyes of a Bird

“Eyes of a bird” is a simpler choice than “eyes of a hawk.” “Bird” is more general, implying that someone can see as well as any bird. Not all birds can see as well as hawks, but almost every bird has excellent eyesight.

While “eyes like birds” might sound more generic, it’s still a great way to show that someone has excellent vision. You should use it when they appear to see everything that happens around them.

  • He has eyes like a bird, so you won’t sneak that past him. Make sure you have a good excuse ready when he asks about it.
  • You have the eyes of a bird, Taylor. I’m impressed you figured out what they were doing so quickly.

6. Nose of a Bear

“Nose of a bear” is a good option that suggests sight and hearing aren’t the only viable senses to use in an animal simile. Some people might have an excellent sense of smell, meaning they can sniff things out easily as a bear could.

You can use this to show that someone smells well. It is often a bad thing as they will react negatively to pungent or strong smells that other people might be able to ignore.

  • I have the nose of a bear, so it’s hard for me to ignore that horrible smell. Please, someone, go over there and clean it up.
  • That’s what happens when you have a nose like a bear. You’re going to smell many things you probably don’t want to smell.

7. Ears of a Deer

“Ears of a deer” is another great saying referring to someone’s hearing. You should use it when someone is very alert and keeps darting around at the slightest noise. Using this over some of the other descriptions is a bit more chaotic.

Deer are notoriously panicky creatures. They are prey, so they need to be on high alert with all sounds. They hear very well, react quickly, and run away at the first sign of danger. You can use this to refer to jumpy people who hear all noises.

  • I have the ears of a deer, and I’ll always react the same way when someone talks while I’m talking. It’s a pet peeve of mine.
  • What’s up with her having ears like a deer? I’ve never seen somebody react so angrily to other people talking.

8. Ears of a Hare

“Ears of a hare” is very similar to “ears of a deer.” You should use it when someone is quite jumpy and can hear every little noise. It refers to them being like a “hare,” which means they have the instincts of prey rather than a predator.

This can be a good sign, though. It’s good to have self-preservation and react to certain noises you’re unsure about. It shows that you value yourself and don’t want to be caught off guard. You never know when a certain noise might signify danger.

  • You have the ears of a hare. I’m quite impressed that you can hear them from so far away. What are they saying?
  • They have the ears of a hare. It’s why they’re perfect for each other. It’s like they can hear every bit of gossip about them.

9. Ears of a Corn

“Ears of a corn” is a witty simile you can use that is the opposite of the other choices. “Corn” is a vegetable, and the saying relates to an “ear of corn.” You should use this when someone has terrible hearing (as “corn” does, considering vegetables don’t have ears).

This saying works well to show someone they don’t hear well and can’t notice things. It likens them to a vegetable that cannot think or hear for itself.

  • You have the ears of corn. No. That’s not a compliment. I mean, you can literally hear as well as a vegetable.
  • She has ears like corn. I don’t know why I said that, but she isn’t able to hear very well. She won’t find out.