Language: English with bilingual foreword in English and German
This is an English translation of the German monograph. Note that the content has been completely updated from the original with recent findings, including a new analysis of the biocide situation, made by Peter Wegner.
Apart from the lesser spotted eagle, only two predatory birds of Germany's forests brood in midsummer: the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), which is a specialized wasp hunter, and the Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo). The late breeding season also has trophic causes for F. subbuteo, because at that time there is a rich supply of fledglings and flying insects such as dragonflies, hymenoptera and beetles.
Previously, this small falcon has been considered a highly specialized hunter of swallows and larks. Recent studies, however, show that the hobby does not only brood in the vicinity of larger cities, but also directly in urban areas. Especially in the outskirts the hobbies hunt successfully for sparrows, greenfinches, swifts, and even escaped budgerigars.
This volume evaluates the results of many years of observations on hobbies in Berlin and Brandenburg. Many issues such as philopatry, sex ratio, European migration routes and their risks were investigated.
Today, the population of the hobby in Central Europe is threatened, and so this monograph provides knowledge which is fundamental for an effective protection of this species.
Geleitwort/ Foreword 4
1. Names of the Eurasian Hobby 16
2. Systematics and subspecies: an Old World Falcon 18
3. Field characteristics and descriptions: slate-grey upper parts, black-and-white face with moustache 20
4. Eggs 29
5. Voice: alarm call to soft duetting 30
6. Biometrics: from eggs to nestlings and adults 32
7. Habitat for breeding and hunting 41
8. Distribution and status: a palearctic summer visit and migrant 49
9. The Breeding Cycle 109
10. Breeding success and mortality 197
11. Food and breeding season 230
12. Migration 292
13. Predation and other risks: From Goshawk and Eagle Owl to Man 330
14. Biocides 341
15. Moult and preening 345
16. Protection 350
17. References 356
18. Index 391
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