Eurasian Hobby in the Belziger Landschaftswiesen

BaumfalkeA misty and chilly morning. After weeks without rain, the drizzling rain kept going already for a while. A wet falcon was sitting crooked on a pole in some distance. Obviously not very comfortable in the rain. The view through the scope revealed a Eurasian Hobby (Falcon. subbuteo), also known as the Northern Hobby rested on a post with larger prey. In this position a Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)  would be the first bet, if you are looking only superficially.

Often you will observe Hobbies in flight. Hobbies catch dragonflies and are hirundine or swift specialists, usually taking the prey by surprise in the air, and even dismantling and eating them there.

With its moustache and its rank, slender body, with blue-tinged slaty upperparts and black-streaked underparts which have a subtle buffy tinge these falcons should be not mistaken for any other raptor. But sometimes distances, poor views and glaring sunlight can help confuse the identification of this species.

In flight this falcon appears slender, elegant and almost swift-like in aspect, with long, curved, scimitar-like wings and a proportionately longer tail than the other hunting-in-the-air specialist, the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). The tail is not as long-looking as the one of the Common Kestrel. Eurasian Hobby has a moustache like the Peregrine – but this is thinner. Obvious is a narrow white eyebrow. From below you can see its rich red leg feathers and vent. This is true in good light and in photos, if you look carefully afterwards in large scale images.

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