Above bluish black; beneath reddish yellow, with longitudinal streaks of brown: a broad black moustache: wings reaching beyond the extremity of the tail.
F. Subbuteo, Temm. Man. dOrn. torn. 1. p. 25. Hobby, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. 1. p. 43. pi. 16. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 1. p. 42.
Entire length twelve to fourteen inches: breadth two feet to two feet three inches.
(Adult male). Upper parts bluish black: under parts whitish, passing into reddish yellow, with longitudinal brown streaks: throat white: a black patch or moustache proceeding from the corners of the mouth down each side of the neck: rump, thighs, and under tail-coverts, rust-red: quills, and outer tail-feathers, barred with reddish brown on their inner webs: bill bluish black: irides reddish brown: cere, eyelids, and feet, yellow. (Female). Colours generally more obscure; upper parts approaching to dusky brown; the red on the rump and thighs not so bright; the spots underneath deeper. (Young). Plumage above dusky, all the feathers edged with reddish yellow; this last colour most prevalent on the head: some white spots on the occiput: under parts yellowish white, passing into reddish yellow, with long streaks of brown: tip of the tail reddish: cere and feet greenish yellow. (Egg). Yellowish white, speckled all over with reddish brown: long. diam. one inch eight lines; trans, diam. one inch four lines.
A summer visitant; arriving in April, and departing in October. Preys on larks, and other small birds. Builds in tall trees, and lays from three to four eggs.