Eurasian hobby

Fast as an arrow

Eurasian hobby, photo Eero Haapanen

The Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo) is among the most common birds of prey found in Helsinki’s archipelago. It circles its nesting island from high up, nearly touching clouds, surveying the entire island from the skies and swooping down without warning to catch small birds unawares.

Eurasian hobbies nest high up atop pine trees, in abandoned crow’s nests. Both the chicks and the parents call out with a shrill kjikjikjikjiikikikii from the nest. The chicks take flight by late July and August.

Eurasian hobbies nest annually on Melkki island and occasionally on the Pihlajasaari islands as well. They also hunt daily on Pihlajasaari. The parents also fly several kilometres to hunt dragonflies in reedy bays. The Eurasian hobby is a summer bird that arrives at its nesting sites in May and leaves as early as September.