Solitary and feisty, the Australian hobby may be smaller than other falcons, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in skilful territorial defence, and can often be sighted soaring and circling to ward off other birds of prey.
They are graceful and acrobatic when hunting for food, and have been observed using a concealed approach when targeting a shorebird roost, flying towards them behind the cover of dunes, cliffs or trees.
Hobbies dine on smaller birds, large flying insects, beetles, cicadas, cricket,s and grasshoppers, catching them and eating them whilst in flight or ‘on the wing’.
When it is time to breed, the pair will usually take over an old nest previously used by larger raptors.
Found throughout mainland Australia, Australian hobbies have also been observed on the islands of Indonesia and New Guinea.
Photo by Scott Humphris