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Oriental Hobby
Falco severus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Burmese Hobby, Indian Hobby.

Falco severus
click to enlarge
Distribution: Australasian/Indomalayan. INDIA and PAKISTAN east to southern CHINA (Guangxi, Yunnan, Hainan), south to INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, SULAWESI, MOLUCCAS, SOLOMON ISLANDS (Bougainville), BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO, and NEW GUINEA; northermost populations are migratory, wintering as far south as SRI LANKA and THAILAND. more....

Subspecies: 2 races. F.s. severus: INDIA south to JAVA, BALI, and the PHILIPPINES; F.s. papuanus: SULAWESI, MOLUCCAS, NEW GUINEA, and SOLOMON ISLANDS.

Taxonomy: Forms a superspecies with F. longipennis and perhaps F. subbuteo, F. cuvierii, and F. fasciinucha. Bildstein and Zalles (2005) suggested that this species may have derived from the Eurasian Hobby as the result "migration dosing," which occurs in areas of misdirected migration, stranding isolated individuals unable to return to their usual breeding grounds.

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006) and somewhat nomadic.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in forest edges, clearings, secondary growth, and native gardens (Coates 1985), and also hunts over clearings, lakes, swamps, and reedbeds. In Thailand, it is found in lowland inland forest and forest edge, secondary growth and mangroves, typically in the vicinity of limestone cliffs (Wells 1999). Perches conspicuously in dead trees, and hunts mostly at dawn and dusk (Coates op cit., Wells 1999). Usually solitary (Coates 2001, Coates and Bishop 1997), but also occcurs in pairs or family groups (Kennedy et al. 2000). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on small birds, bats, and insects (Coates 1985, 2001). Flies from perch in pursuit of birds, bats, and insects in fast direct flight, catching prey in air (Kennedy et al. 2000). Often feeds on dragonflies over water (Coates and Bishop 1997). Wells (1999) mentioned the capture of an Edible-nest Swiftlet in flight and one collected in Myanmar as it ate a small bird. Cain et al. (1956) saw one chasing bats on Guadalcanal, nearly catching one on an upward swoop after missing it on a dives

Breeding: Nests in holes in trees or in the nest of another species. Some nests in northeastern India have been in trees growing out of cliffs (Wells 1999). Clutch size is 2-4 eggs. more....

Conservation: Generally uncommon throughout its extensive range. Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2008).

Important References: 
Cade, T.J. 1982. Falcons of the world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
Cain, A.J., and I.C.J. Galbraith. 1956. Field notes on the birds of the
  eastern Solomon Islands. Ibis 98:100-134, 262-295.
Clark, W.S. 1994. Oriental Hobby. P. 269 in del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and
  J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New World
  vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Coates, B.J. 1985. The birds of Papua New Guinea, including the Bismarck
  Archipelago and Bougainville. Vol. I. Non-passerines. Dove Publications,
  Alderley, Queensland, Australia.
Coates, B.J. 2001. Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago: a
  photographic guide. Dove Publications, Alderley, Queensland, Australia.
Coates, B.J., and K.D. Bishop. 1997. A guide to the birds of Wallacea,
  Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Dove
  Publications, Alderley, Queensland, Australia.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Naoroji, R. 2006. Birds of prey of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher
  Helm, London.
Rasmussen, P.C., and J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: the Ripley
  guide. Vols. 1-2. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions, Washington,
  D.C. and Barcelona, Spain.
Sibley, C.G. 1946. Second specimen of the Oriental hobby from the Solomon
  Islands. Condor 48:97.
van Balen, B.S. 1998. Tropical forest raptors in Indonesia: recent
  information on distribution, status, and conservation. Journal of Raptor
  Research 32:56-63.

Szabo, John

Last modified: 5/27/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Oriental Hobby Falco severus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 25 Sep. 2020

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