Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo), also known as the Northern Hobby is about the size of a Kestrel but it has the dark blue upperparts and facial mask of a Peregrine. It is best identified by its unusually long, rather loose wings and characteristic swift-like flight. Also, the underparts are heavily streaked and the adults have rich chestnut undertail coverts.
Hobby Breeds on heaths and farmland with isolated clumps of trees, and on the edges of woods both on high altitude and sea level on both sides of Alborz mountains along the north of Iran. This shows the versatility and adaptivity of this bird of prey. After the young hobbies leave the nest, their parents continue feeding them but within a few days they will hunt slow-flying beetles before turning their attention to such rapidly moving grey as dragonflies. Only much later, following prolonged aerial games, do they try hunting birds or bats.
Hobby has a characteristic way of feeding and that is catching insects with the feet and transferring them to the mouth in mid-air. The hobby is one of the very few birds of prey capable of outflying swifts; perhaps at a speed approaching 100mph. The literature presents a full catalogue of victims, extending to swallows and other fast flying birds.
Hobby in flightHobbies regularly hunt late in the evening seeking insects which appear at dusk, as well as on flocks of swallows about to enter reedbed roosts.
Hobby is a breeding migirant bird of prey in Iran and Perhaps hobbies follow prey south to tropical Africa in the same manner that skuas follow terns.
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