This is an English translation of the German monograph. Note that the content has been completely updated from the original with recent findings.
Apart from the lesser spotted eagle, only two predatory birds of our forests brood in midsummer: the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), which is a specialized wasps 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, hymenopters 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 the urban area. 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 could be 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.
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