Fuck you, lore/game mechanics.
IDK why people hate Hawkstriders, though. They’re really cool and would totally destroy a horse in a fight.
There’s an essay thing I really like that details why hawkstriders are tough war birds and not the fragile chickens people seem to think they are. Mostly fanon of course, but even without it you can apply the same physiology of modern birds and how threatening and dangerous they can be.
Even in the artbook it’s labeled as Blood Elf Cockatrice: