Scientific name: Falco subbuteo

Did you know: Hobby Falcons are not only magnificent hunters of the sky but also remarkable long-distance travellers, migrating each year from Africa to grace the UK skies!

What Do Hobby Falcons Look Like? (how to identify them)

Resembling a giant swift in flight, Hobby Falcons are distinguished by their pointed wings and dynamic flight. They are approximately the size of a Kestrel, with a sleek grey back and intricately streaked underparts. Their wings, shaped like a scythe, make them unmistakable in the sky.

Differences Between Male And Female Hobby Falcons

Male and female Hobby Falcons are visually similar, making it challenging to distinguish between them. However, females tend to be slightly larger than their male counterparts.

What Do Hobby Falcons Eat?

Hobby Falcons are skilled hunters, primarily feeding on large insects and small birds. They are known for their remarkable ability to catch swallows and martins mid-air, often transferring their catch from talons to beak while still soaring.

Where Do Hobby Falcons Live? (inc. migration info)

Hobby Falcons favour open countryside such as farmlands, wetlands, and heathlands. They are migratory birds, arriving in the UK from Africa in April. These falcons prefer the southern half of Britain for breeding, showcasing their aerial prowess over these landscapes.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Hobby Falcons)

While generally silent, Hobby Falcons vocalise a distinct ‘kyu-kyu-kyu’ or ‘kree-kree-kree’ during courtship. Their call is a fascinating element of their breeding behaviour.

Fun Hobby Falcon Facts (kid friendly)

  • Hobby Falcons are masterful in the air, capable of sudden, high-speed manoeuvres.
  • They can catch dragonflies and even small birds like swallows in flight.
  • Hobbies are summer visitors to the UK, migrating here from Africa.
  • They have striking red ‘trousers’ or feathering above their legs.
  • Hobbies use abandoned nests of other birds for breeding.
  • They can live up to 10 years, though many live less due to various factors.
  • A Hobby Falcon’s wingspan ranges from 70 to 92 cm.
  • These falcons are about 28-36 cm long, with a weight of 131-340g.
  • In flight, Hobbies can be mistaken for swifts due to their similar wing shape.
  • They are remarkable for their ability to eat small prey while flying.

Facts About The Hobby

Diet: Insects and small birds.
Bird Family: Falcons
Length: 28-36cm
Wingspan: 70-92cm
Weight: 131-340g
Scientific Name: Falco subbuteo

The Hobby Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

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