Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes / Falconidae / Falco / Species
Falco subbuteo - Hobby (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

.

Return to top of page

General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Faucon hobereau (French)
  • Baumfalke (German)
  • Londolaio (Italian)
  • Alcotán (Spanish)
  • Lärkfalk (Swedish)
  • Boomvalk (Dutch)

Names for newly-hatched

Chick

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

--

Return to top of page

References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B89, B104, B162, B163, B164, B165, B166

Aviculture references:

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

Return to top of page

TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

  • Birds of prey

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

  • Birds of prey

Return to top of page

Aviculture Information

Notes

--
Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

Return to top of page

External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length
  • 29-35cm (B164; 34cm (B165); 30-36cm / 1214 ins. (B166)
  • Wingspan: 70-85cm (B164)
Adult weight General --
Male 131-232g (B104)
Female 141-340 (B104)
Newly-hatched weight 17g (B104)
Growth rate Reaching 230g by about 28 days old (B104)

Return to top of page

Head

Adult Bill Male Blue-grey with darker tip and yellow cere, hooked (B104, B164, B165, B166).
Variations (If present) --
Eyes Male Dark brown (B104, B164).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Yellow, hooked (B164, B165, B166).
Eyes (Iris) Dark brown (B104)

Return to top of page

Legs

Adult Male Yellow with black claws (B164, B165, B166).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Flesh-coloured in hatchling, later pale green then pale yellow with black claws. (B104, B164, B165, B166)

Return to top of page

Plumage

Adult Male
  • Head: hood black, cheeks white with black moustache, neck collar, white almost complete (not dorsal).
  • Upperparts: Slate grey.
  • Ventral: Breast and abdomen white/buff , boldly streaked; vent and feathered portion of legs rust-red.
  • Tail: Medium-long, square-cut, slate grey; undertail coverts rust-red
  • Wings: long pointed scythe-like Upper surface slate grey; under-surface white with heavy even barring.

(B164, B165, B166)

Variations (If present) Female:
  • Dorsal: slightly browner.

(B164)

Juvenile
  • Head: pale forehead.
  • Upperparts: Dark brown.
  • Ventral: yellowish buff to buff-brown; lacks red colouration of vent area/legs/undertail coverts.

(B164, B165, B166)

Return to top of page

Newly-hatched Characteristics

Semi-altricial; helpless, downy, fed by parents (B164, B163, B166).

Return to top of page

Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year May-June (B166).
No. of Clutches One (B163, B166).

Return to top of page

Nest placement and structure

Uses old nests of other birds in trees, mainly deciduous trees but also conifers. (B163, B164, B165, B166).

Return to top of page

Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 3 (B163) 2-3 (B166).
Range 2-4 (B163).
Egg colour Yellowish/pale brown with red/red-brown spotting; length 42mm (B163, B166).

Return to top of page

Incubation

28-31 days (B163) 28 days (B166).

Return to top of page

Hatching

Almost synchronous (B163).

Return to top of page

Fledging

28-34 days (B163) 28-32 days (B166).

Return to top of page

Sexual Maturity

Males Usually two years old. (B104)
Females Usually two years old, exceptionally one year. (B104)

Return to top of page

Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults
  • Take prey on wing, flying very fast to catch birds such as swifts and swallows.
  • More leisurely flight for insect prey.
  • Often attack from below.

(B163, B166).

Newly-hatched Fed by parents (B163)

Return to top of page

Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Not built (B163).
Incubation By female (B163, B166).
Newly-hatched Fed by females; male hunts and brings food back (B163).
Juveniles

Remain with adults for several weeks after fledging (B163).

Return to top of page

Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Usually solitary and territorial; see singly or in pairs (B163, B166).
Inter-specific --

Return to top of page

Sexual Behaviour

Monogamous (B163).

Return to top of page

Predation in Wild

--

Return to top of page

Activity Patterns

Flight includes soaring, gliding, strong powerful aerial dives and fast pursuit flight (B163, B166).
Circadian Diurnal. Often hunt in evening (B163).

Return to top of page

Natural Diet

Adults

  • Small birds including fast-flying species such as swallows and swifts.
  • Insects e.g. dragonflies.
  • Bats and other small vertebrates.

(B163, B164, B166).

Return to top of page

Newly-hatched

--

Return to top of page

Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Palearctic: Europe and Asia, widespread.
  • Britain: central and southern England (summer only)

Movements:

  • Migratory; winters to southern Africa and India.

(B89, B163, B164, B165, B166)

Occasional and Accidental --
Introduced

--

Return to top of page

Habitat

  • Various habitats including wooded farmland, bogs and rivers in taiga, mountain forests, heathland.

(B163, B164, B165, B166)

Return to top of page

Conservation

Intraspecific variation

--

Return to top of page

Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)
  • Western Europe mainly marked declines, but increasing in Britain.

(B163, B164)

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 1 - Part I (Birds protected by special penalties: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds protected by special penalties at all times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 4 (Birds which must be registered and ringed if kept in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "Any bird, one of whose parents or other lineal ancestor was a bird of a kind specified in the above list") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats Persecution (B163, B164).

Return to top of page

Captive Populations

--

Return to top of page

Trade

--

Return to top of page