Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)


Adults are slate-grey above with a dark crown and two short black moustachial stripes. The throat is unstreaked white, thighs and undertail coverts are unstreaked rufous and rest of the underparts are whitish with black streaks. The sexes are similar. This bird is between 29-36 centimetres long with an approximate wingspan of 74-84 cm.The Eurasian Hobby will take large insects like dragonflies in the air, transferring from talons to beak and eat while soaring slowly in circles, and can also capture small bats and birds in flight.Such birds are swallows, and barn swallows or house martins, which have a ‘hobby’ alarm call giving this bird of prey its name.


The Eurasian Hobby frequents open country including farmland, marshes, savanna and taiga. It can be seen in lowlands where scattered woodlands provide good nesting sites. Prior to the breeding season, it often feeds in wetlands.


The most important prey are birds and insects. Hobbies are very fast and agile fliers and catch birds in flight.

Protection status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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