Raptors | Australian Hobby > captured moment | preening & roosting

The Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) are found throughout mainland Australia and some of our offshore islands. They are from the genus Falco, that currently list 38 species that include other kestrels, falcons and hobbys.

There are three recognised subspecies of the Australian hobbys:

  • Falco longipennis longipennis
  • Falco longipennis hanieli
  • Falco longipennis murchisonianus

The Australian Hobby is closely related to the Northern Hobby (Falco subbuteo) found in the Eurasia region, which migrates to Africa during winter.

The Australian Hobby are a small, dark falcon with buff to rusty-rufous coloured underparts that are finely dark-streaked. They havedark grey to blackish upperparts and long, thin pointed wings. They have black markings that cover the cheek, eye, and crown, like a black hood, although much reduced compared to the Peregrine Falcon. They have a cream or buff half-collar. The cere varies from a pale yellowish-grey to pale yellow and they have pale-blue eye ring. The feet and legs are a dull yellow in colour. The chicks are cream in colour, whilst the juveniles are darker and browner than adult bird, with rufous feather edges and paler legs and feet. The male and female are similar in appearance, although the female is up to 50% larger.

The Australian Hobby are found in most open habitats, including open woodland, water courses and vegetated urban areas. It is rare to find them around cliffs or escarpments.

A very fast raptor, they feed on bats, small birds and flying insects. They can often be seen perched in the top of trees, surveying the surrounding, before swooping down on their prey. They also hunt by quartering from high in the air.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Genus: Falco
  • Species: F. longipennis
  • Binomial name: Falco longipennis

Footnote & References

  1. Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis), BirdsSA, https://birdssa.asn.au/birddirectory/australian-hobby/
  2. Australian Hobby, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_hobby (last visited Oct. 31, 2021)
  3. Australian Hobby, BirdLife Australia, https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/australian-hobby
  4. Australian Hobby, mdahlem.net, https://mdahlem.net/birds/6/aushobby.php