Fun Australian Hobby Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Oct 20, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Learn about this bird's description, markings, and other fun Australian hobby facts in this article.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

The Australian hobby (Falco longipennis) is one of the most interesting birds around! When assaulting shorebirds roost, they have been observed to approach them from behind the protection of dunes, trees, or cliffs. Likewise, hobbies have been observed to harass bigger birds, although they are incapable of killing them. This is not the only interesting thing about them, since many scientists have taken great interest in their breeding cycle. Research has revealed that both males and females experience brooding. The female, on the other hand, is responsible for feeding the nestlings once they hatch. According to research, the male hunting rate rises early in the nestling stage to support the female, with observations showing food is delivered to the nest every three hours, with a long pause in the midst of the day. A male hobby will transport the food mid-air or to a nearby tree-site.

If you want to learn more about the description, markings, diet, and other fun things about this south-dwelling bird, then read on! You can also check out various other unique animals like the American pipit and palm cockatoo.

Australian Hobby Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Australian hobby?

The Australian hobby (Falco longipennis) is a type of falcon.

What class of animal does an Australian hobby belong to?

The Australian hobby (Falco longipennis) belongs to the class of birds, Aves and the family, Falconidae.

How many Australian hobbies are there in the world?

The estimated population of Australian hobby (Falco longipennis) birds is not known.

Where does an Australian hobby live?

The Australian hobby falcon lives in woods. It occurs throughout Australia, including other nearby countries.

What is an Australian hobby's habitat?

The Australian hobby occurs throughout mainland Australia and offshore islands. Migrating individuals have also been recorded on the islands of Indonesia and New Guinea. Hobbies visit the largest open habitats, including open forests, watercourses, and green urban areas, however, they are rarely seen near cliffs or ravines.

Red-backed shrikes are tropical forest bird have a distribution range of Africa, West Asia, and Europe.

Who do Australian hobbies live with?

The brown-colored Australian hobby with a dark head and buff collar is a solitary raptor, except for during the breeding season. The Australian hobby range is across mainland Australia.

How long does an Australian hobby live?

The average lifespan of this brown little falcon that lives in open woodlands, including urban areas and usually hunts mid-air with fast wing beats, is about 11 years.

How do they reproduce?

Breeding happens from August to January. An old stick nest of some other large raptor is seized for nesting. Nests are usually on slender branches high up in the trees. Three to four highly blotched eggs are placed in the nest, with incubation taking approximately 35 days. Broods with two to three young are frequently successful. Hobbies have been observed using various perches inside their nesting territory for purposes like food transfer between males and females, feeding separately, and defending the nest.

During the breeding season, the peregrine falcon is a possessive bird. The nests of peregrine falcon birds are frequently erected at the cliff's edge. These nests are built in soil, pebbles, or decomposing plants. Predators are well guarded from these nests. The eggs are deposited in the Northern Hemisphere during February and March, while the eggs are deposited in the Southern Hemisphere around July and August. The clutch varies around three to four eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Australian hobby bird is Least Concern declared by IUCN Red List.

Australian Hobby Fun Facts

What do Australian hobbies look like?

The Australian hobby is a slender, long-winged falcon that is smaller than other falcons. Its plumage varies in colors based on sex, age, and climate, with darker plumage more common in humid places and a lighter plumage in drier areas. Generally, a  mask and darker cap with a whitish head and half-collar are typical of the hobby bird. The underparts might be rufous or blue-gray, with darker streaks. The cere in adulthood is a pale yellow gray or  pale yellow color, with a pale blue eye band, brown eyes, and drab yellow feet. Females are larger, generally measuring 13-14 in (33–35.5 cm) in length, while males are smaller, measuring 12-13 in (30.4–33 cm) in length. The Australian hobby wingspan length is between 26-34 in (66–86.3 cm).

The blue-gray peregrine falcon is frequently confused with the Australian hobby. However, the latter is more slender, has longer and narrower wings, and is weaker. This peregrine falcon is huge, resembling a crow in size. An adult falcon's backline and wings are usually blue-gray to slate-gray in color, with black tips on the wings. Both the female and male species of this falcon have similar markings on both their wings and body. The undersides of their bodies are barred in creamy or white. Younger birds have a pale blue cere and a brown coloration with striped underparts.

This bird resembles a smaller form of the peregrine falcon, the Australian hobby is sometimes known as the little falcon.

How cute are they?

Although they are very vicious birds of prey, these small birds of Australia are adorable creatures. Their whitish half collar, long and pointed wings, blackish-gray to rufous underparts, and chestnut upperparts make them good-looking and appealing.

How do they communicate?

Whenever a male hobby was constrained, two substantially unique calls were uttered. Adults use two primary calls, according to observations of hobbies throughout breeding. The male's fast 'peevish' speech as he carried prey to the nest site was one example. The second call sounded like a squeaky chittering and clicking, and it appeared to be used to establish social authority and food possession. The Australian hobby calls are similar, yet greater-pitched compared to the male peregrine falcon while returning to the nest with food.

How big is an Australian hobby?

The length size of the Australian hobby with a buff collar is between 12-14 in (30.4-35.5 cm). In comparison, the brown pygmy falcon bird's length measures up to 8 in (20.3 cm). Therefore, these Australian birds are larger than pygmy birds.

How fast can an Australian hobby fly?

The hobby is a lonely and hostile falcon with quick flickering wing beats and a fanned tail while hovering. It flies on flat or gently drooped wings, having flexed carpals with swept-back outermost wings. It zigzags over or between foliage and open land, and its flight is generally described as low and quick. These birds have been seen flying and circling to warn off other birds of prey while involved in territorial defense. With steep stoops towards foliage and short stoops from behind soaring raptors, hobbies have been recorded hunting other perched raptors.

How much does an Australian hobby weigh?

The average weight of this species with feathers varies across Australia is about 4.65-14.81 oz (131.8-419.8 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male is known as an Australian hobby male, and the female is referred to as an Australian hobby female.

What would you call a baby Australian hobby?

A baby Australian hobby bird that has rufous feather skirts and dark brown eyes has no particular name, other than a chick.

What do they eat?

This brown hobby is a frequent and widespread hunter who hunts diurnally and occasionally nocturnally under artificial light. These hobbies have been seen grabbing their prey mid-air, attacking directly from a perch, or contour-flying over and between tree canopies. In pursuit of prey, it performs acrobatic maneuvers and strikes fleeing birds with several quick shallow stoops. Unfortunately, the enormous number of insects in the Australian hobby diet has one of the poorest prey-to-predator proportions, i.e., smaller prey than their body mass.

The European starling, house sparrow, and silvereye are among the bird species preyed on by the Australian hobby. The hobby's diet also comprises insectivorous bats and invertebrates food such as beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets.

Are they poisonous?

These small birds of Australia found in urban places with trees that sometimes hunt during the daytime with a fast, flexible and direct flight are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

With brown to rufous underneath and slate-gray upperparts, this falcon bird would not make suitable pets since they can attack anything that appears to be a threat.

Did you know...

You can find eagles, goshawks, hawks, harriers, and kites throughout Australia.

Except for Antarctica and New Zealand, the blue-gray peregrine falcon species can be found on every continent and large island group. Likewise, one can find peregrine falcon birds all over Australia.

Hungary's national bird is the saker falcon. Mongolia recently designated saker falcon birds as its national bird. A saker falcon is Hayabusa in Disney's 'Mulan'.

How did the Australian hobby get its name?

The Australian hobby frequently referred to as the little falcon, is one of six members belonging to the Falconidae family that live in Australia. The name 'longipennis' comes from the long primary wing plumes of this mostly diurnal bird of prey.

Do hobbies hunt in pairs?

The hobby that hunts birds and flying insects in flight is among the few birds of prey able to fly at speeds of up to 100 mph (161 kph). Hobbies hunt late at night for insects that emerge at sunset, as well as for groups of swallows that are about to approach reedbed roosts.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!  For more relatable content, check out these black-capped chickadee facts and killdeer facts for kids!

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Australian hobby coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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