Somerset Wildlife Trust

Work For Us|



Scientific name: Falco subbuteo

Adults are slate-grey above, and streaked lengthwise below, with a white throat. Close views enable the red "trousers" and vent to be seen. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are generally much browner. It is a bird of open country such as farmland, taiga and savannah. They are widespread in lowlands with scattered small woods. It is an elegant bird of prey, appearing sickle-like in flight with its long pointed wings and square tail. It will take large insects, such as dragonflies, which are transferred from talons to beak and eaten in flight. It also captures small birds in flight. Its speed and aerobatic skills enable it to take swallows and even swifts on the wing, and Barn Swallows or House Martins have a characteristic "hobby" alarm call. Hobbies nest in old nests of crows and other birds, laying 2-4 eggs.

Information and photograph courtesy of