hobby(redirected from northern hobbies)
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(Falco subbuteo), a predatory bird of the family Falconidae. The body length is 33 to 35 cm. The upper parts are black with a blue sheen, and the underparts, light with dark markings. The hobby is distributed in Europe, Asia, and North Africa; in the USSR it is found in the forest and forest-steppe zones and in the mountains of the Caucasus and Middle Asia. A migratory bird, it winters in southern Africa and Asia. In the spring it arrives no earlier than late April. It nests in trees in the abandoned nests of crows and other birds. The clutch contains two to four, sometimes five or six, eggs, which are incubated for 28 days. The hobby catches its prey in flight, attaining speeds of up to 150 km/hr. The diet includes small birds and insects, such as dragonflies and beetles. The hobby was formerly used as a hunting bird.