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Eurasian Hobby | Falco subbuteo

The Eurasian Hobby is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Falconidae bird family group which includes birds such as Falcons.

The description for the Eurasian Hobby (Latin name Falco subbuteo) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Falco subbuteo can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 173 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 554. You will find a picture of the Eurasian Hobby on page 529.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Hobby Falcon in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Eurasian Hobby between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Eurasian Hobby is known in Afrikaans as Europese Boomvalk.

The Eurasian Hobby has a height of 36 cms and weighs around 200 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured grey. The Falco subbuteo has a white, black coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is grey

Legs are yellow

Throat is white, black

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Falco subbuteo attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.

The Falco subbuteo attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Eurasian Hobby eats the eggs of its victim.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Eurasian Hobby is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between eggs and they are coloured .

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Eurasian Hobby is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Eurasian Hobby is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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