Bird GuideFalconsEurasian Hobby
Eurasian Hobby
Falco subbuteo

At a Glance

A compact, fast-flying falcon, widespread in the Old World, the Eurasian Hobby has appeared in North America several times as a rare stray. Most records have been in Alaska, on the Aleutians and other islands and once on the mainland; it has also wandered to other parts of the continent, including the northwest (south to Washington) and the northeast (south to Massachusetts). Some of the Alaskan records have involved birds coming on board ships far out at sea. The Hobby is similar in behavior to our Merlin, often catching dragonflies or small birds in flight.
Hawk-like Birds
Low Concern
Coasts and Shorelines, Fields, Meadows, and Grasslands, Forests and Woodlands
Direct Flight, Flap/Glide, Soaring

Range & Identification


11-14" (28-36 cm). A compact falcon with relatively short tail. Adult gray above, heavily streaked below, with rufous on thighs and undertail coverts. Juvenile has similar pattern but is browner, and lacks rufous at first.
About the size of a Crow, About the size of a Robin
Wing Shape
Pointed, Swept, Tapered
Tail Shape
Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Shrill scream keer-keer-keer


In its native habitat, open wooded areas, woodland edges and fields. Prefers semi-open areas with sufficient trees or shrubs for perching. In North America, most often seen near coasts in summer.