Belongs to: birds of prey

Hobby Falco subbuteo

Best time to see: late Apr to mid Sep

Key facts

Dark falcon often seen hunting insects and birds over water, looking like a huge swift

Habitat: heaths, fields and hedges

Uncommon summer visitor, wintering in southern and central Africa


Dark upperparts pale streaked below, distinctive red trousers; dark head with white collar; 32 cm

Hawks for insects over water causing panic amongst swallows and martins

Eats small birds such as young swallows and large insects such as dragonflies


Arrive from Africa late April, leaving again in September

Pair circle together in long, soaring courtship flights

Nest in old crow's nest or squirrel's drey in a tree; one brood May–June of 2–3 yellowish eggs speckled reddish

© Robin Chittenden

© Robin Chittenden