Hobby Bird’s Habitat
The hobby, one of the swiftest of all birds, makes its home in light open woodland, field groves and at the edges of deeper forests throughout most of Europe, but is absent in Ireland, Iceland and northern Scandinavia. It is a migrant and young birds leave for their winter quarters in eastern and southern Africa as early as the middle of August, whereas the older birds do not depart until September or October.
At the end of April or beginning of May they return again to their breeding grounds, where they take over the abandoned nests of crows, buzzards and similar birds, making only small alterations. Then follow their breathtaking courtship flights, during which they circle high in the air, then plummet to the ground and immediately sweep up again.
Hobby Bird Information & Facts
Length: 33 cm.
Wingspan: 75 to 79 cm. The male’s tibial feathers are russet, those of the female creamy-white.
Voice: A short ‘keu’ or ‘ket’ or lengthy ‘kikiki’.
Size of Egg: 36.5—46.5 mm.
The partners generally take turns incubating the three eggs for a period of 28 days. For the first few days after the young are hatched only the male hobby bird hunts prey, passing it to the female, who waits for it at some distance from the nest. Later she also joins in the search for food. Larger prey, such as a small hobby bird, is passed by the male to the hen, who then feeds it to the nestlings, but insects are fed by the male directly.
Both parents are very conscientious in their care of the young, bringing them food every two or three hours; but, when the food source is insects, they are fed several times an hour. At the age of 23 to 34 days the young hobby birds leave the nest, but continue to be fed by the parent birds for several weeks more.