Saturday, 2 August 2008

watching hobby chicks

To watch two hobby chicks in a nest in southern England go to
the New Forest Gateway website where you can watch the live web cams (rather boring since the two chicks get fed only 1-2 times all day and otherwise just sit there!) or to see highlights of this and last year's action at the nest - which is frankly much better.

The hobby is the smaller cousin of the peregrine. It uses the old nests of crows and there are some 30+ pairs in the county of Derbyshire and maybe 1500 in the UK. The birds are very secretive at the nest and finding them is very difficult.


Since their numbers are low nationally - and because of egg collecting - this species has the same high level of protection as the peregrine in the UK.

http://www.newforestgateway.org/Home/NFGHomePage/tabid/98/Default.aspx

Hobbies take smaller prey than peregrines - birds like larks, swallows and swifts, but they also eat large numbers of insects. In the UK, dragonflies are favoured but when in Africa in winter, they follow the thunderstorms which induce termites to fly, picking off these large insects with relish. The painting top right of a hobby chasing a swallow is by Peter Partington.
The photo shows one eating a dragonfly in mid-air.


Hobbies breed much later than peregrines.
They only arrive back in the UK from their winter quarters in southern Africa during May, lay eggs in June, hatch them mid July and fledge mid August.
Nick B (DWT)


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 11.25am
Nick, I have been watching the hobby chicks, could watch mom feeding them around 8.15am your time, now she seems to be leaving them alone much longer, sometimes dropping food off and then leaving them to feed themselves.
Soon the Aussie falcons will be starting to mate, so will be able to follow them, not that I am addicted!:-)

John B (not the sloop) said...

Unfortunately things are going badly in the New Forest. Tune-in if you will but prospects for any sort of happy outcome are slipping away.

Anonymous said...

John B, can you please let me know what is happening in the new forest - can only see one chick on the nest?

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 9.21pm
falcon on the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 9.21pm
there were 3 hobby chicks once, but sadly now there is only one

John B (not the sloop) said...

Sorry - not paying attention...

Juvenile Hobby #2 passed away on Tuesday mid-afternoon. Possibly a combination of bad weather and lack of nutrition.

The parents seem occasional visitors at best, but this could reflect poor hunting conditions locally.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 12.17am
falcon on the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

what's that stuff on the other side of the gargoyle (stone thingy) on pudding cam?? (5:30GMT), feathers stuck to the gargoyle?

Am I imagining it all?

Karen Anne said...

There's a peregrine at the pudding cam now.