This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Hobby (Falco or Hypotriorchis subbuteo), a member of the Falconidae (or Acciptrinae), is a summer visitant to this country, arriving in April. It haunts the cultivated parts of England, and its favourite food is the lark. The upper parts are greyish-black, the feathers having lighter margins; the chin and throat, white; belly dull orange marked with arrow-head spots; quills dusky black. It builds in tall trees, sometimes making use of the deserted nest of a crow. The eggs are four in number, of a dirty white colour speckled with reddish-brown. The length of the bird is from 12 to 14 in. It feeds principally on small birds and large beetles, and may occasionally prey on small game, being very strong-winged, and was formerly a great favourite for the chase of small game when falconry was in fashion.