British Wildlife Wiki

Hobby -

The Hobby (Falco subbuteo), is a small slim falcon. It belongs to a rather close-knit group of similar falcons .

This species breeds across Europe and Asia. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa.


Adults are slate-grey above, and streaked lengthwise below, with a white throat. Close views enable the red "trousers" and vent to be seen. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are generally much browner.

In flight it is elegant and swift-like, very agile on the wing. They have long pointed wings and a square tail.


It is a bird of open country such as farmland, taiga and savannah. They are widespread in lowlands with scattered small woods. In Britain, this species is sometimes seen over saltmarshes, moors, heaths and reedbeds, as this is where dragonflies occur.

Diet and Hunting[]

It will take large insects, such as dragonflies, which are transferred from talons to beak and eaten in flight. It also captures small birds in flight. Its speed and aerobatic skills enable it to take swallows and even swifts on the wing, and House Martins have a characteristic "hobby" alarm call because of this


Hobbies nest in old nests of crows and other birds, though mainly in the nest of corvids, laying 2-4 eggs.