Oriental Hobby (Falco severus)

Oriental Hobby

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Falco severus | [authority] Horsfield, 1821 | [UK] Oriental Hobby | [FR] Faucon aldrovandin | [DE] Malaien-Baumfalke | [ES] Alcotan Filipino | [NL] Oosterse Boomvalk


Monotypic species


Members of the genus falco are mostly medium-sized falcons, but vary from the large peregrine falcon to the small American kestrel. The wings are long and pointed and used almost continuously during flight. The bill is short, powerful, and with a distinct ‘tooth’ on each side. Most falcons of this group have a black teardrop-shaped ‘mustache’ mark on each side of the head. Falcons are fastflying birds of open country and are famous for attaining high speeds as they dive from high altitudes to knock birds out of the air.

Physical charateristics

Adult is rich chestnut below, bluish-grey above with a black hood and pale throat. Juvenile has black streaks on its rufous chest and has a mottled back.

Listen to the sound of Oriental Hobby

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/FALCONIFORMES/Falconidae/sounds/Oriental Hobby.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Arnold Meijer

wingspan min.: 62 cm wingspan max.: 68 cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 30 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 32 days
fledging min.: 38 days fledging max.: 32 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 4  


Oriental Region, Australasia : Northwest India to Solomon Islands. It can be found in the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, across the eastern Himalayas and ranges southwards through Indochina to Australasia


Occurs in forest edges, clearings, secondary growth, and native gardens, 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. Perches conspicuously in dead trees, and hunts mostly at dawn and dusk. Usually solitary, but also occcurs in pairs or family groups.


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. Clutch size is 2-4 eggs which are incubated for about a month, fledging period also takes about a month.

Feeding habits

Feeds on small birds, bats, and insects. Flies from perch in pursuit of birds, bats, and insects in fast direct flight, catching prey in air. Often feeds on dragonflies over water. Observed to prey on bats and birds also.

Video Oriental Hobby


copyright: Ron Hoff


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Oriental Hobby status Least Concern


Populations of Himalayas migratory, moving South for winter; others apparently sedentary. Vagrant to Borneo and probably to Malay Peninsula.

Distribution map

Oriental Hobby distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *