Australian Hobby (or "Little Falcon") Falco longipennis
Characteristics in Captivity
Hobbies are fairly tough characters, but because of their hunting strategies, many trauma survivors may have to be euthanased. Often very quickly discover that you are all about food, and adapt to the hospital situation well. Great care should be taken, as these falcons are real tail shredders in captivity- a tail sheath is advisable. Free flight training is needed for birds that have been in captivity long term, or for those that have no hunting experience.
These are almost exclusive on the wing hunters. Ground prey is not their thing, and to hope that a Hobby with a wing or eye problem will 'make do' in the wild is stupidity. Hunting is from height, where the falcon may stoop, or use vegetation to cover it's approach in a shallower dive. They are extremely manoeuvrable, and can dodge through woodlands during tail chases of avian prey. Hobbies may also take flying insects on the wing. In the stoop, a Hobby may reach speeds of well over 100km/h. Large females have been recorded taking Galahs, though their main prey species are smaller than this. Feral doves are part of their diet in some areas, where they replace native pigeons.
In captivity, Hobbys seem to adapt to all the usual foods. I prefer to feed them small birds such as quail. If these are not available, I use mice. They do NOT thrive on a staple diet of day old chicks. Hobbies love their food.
Female : 247 - 340g. Male : 177 - 233g.
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