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 rusty-rufous coloured underparts, dark 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.
The Australian Hobby are usually seen perched in tall trees, just roosting or spying out the surrounding landscape for potential prey. Perched on the top of the trees, allows the Australian Hobby to swoop down on their prey. They are very fast and will engage in high-speed chases. They will also employ a hunting technique known as quartering from up high above the ground.
In South Australia, the nominate race F. l. longipennis are found in the coastal regions, whilst the race F. l. murchisonianus (that are paler in colour), are found inland.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Falconiformes
- Family: Falconidae
- Genus: Falco
- Species: F. longipennis
- Binomial name: Falco longipennis