7 things you never knew about the hobby

Discover fascinating facts about the hobby. 

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Hobby with dragonfly.
© Hawk and Owl Trust/Andy Thompson

 

1 Household name

This small falcon’s scientific name, Falco subbuteo, was borrowed by the creator of the famous tabletop football game after the trademark office refused his application to call it ‘Hobby’.

2 Property ladders

Hobbies don’t build their own nests – they commandeer the abandoned dwellings of crows or other raptors, almost always in trees.

3 Warm reception

In summer, nearly 3,000 hobby pairs breed across most of England, much of Wales and the very south of Scotland. The birds overwinter in Africa.

4 Air aces

Hobbies are aerial hunters, chasing down large insects – especially dragonflies – other birds and sometimes bats, and eating their prey on the wing.

5 Fast food

Hobbies are one of the few predators capable of catching swifts. The two species can sometimes be mistaken due to their both having long, pointed wings and fast-flapping flight.

6 Trigger unhappy

Between 500 and 1000 hobbies are estimated to be shot by hunters in Malta each year as the birds migrate between Africa and Europe.

7 Wearing the trousers

A hobby's dashing moustache and sideburns are rather like a peregrine's, but its rufous breeches distinguish it from its larger relative.

Find out more about hobbies and the Hawk and Owl Trust. 

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