Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis)


French: Petit Faucon German: Australischer Baumfalke Spanish: Alcotán australiano

Falco longipennis


, 1838,



Probably closest to F. severus, the two perhaps members of the F. subbuteo group (which see). Race murchisonianus paler than nominate, but intergrades with latter in S humid areas; possibly invalid. Race hanieli apparently distinctive, although very limited information available. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. l. hanieli Hellmayr, 1914 – Lesser Sundas from Lombok to Timor, Wetar and Tanimbar Is.
  • F. l. murchisonianus Mathews, 1912 – N, C & E Australia; outside breeding season occurs N to Moluccas#R and S New Guinea.
  • F. l. longipennis Swainson, 1838 – SW & SE Australia, islands in Bass Strait (King I, Flinders I) and Tasmania; outside breeding season occurs N to Moluccas#R, New Guinea and New Britain.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–35 cm; male 132–280 g, larger female 190–420 g; wingspan 66–87 cm. Small Falco, resembling other hobbies and almost same size as White-... read more


    Only really vocal during breeding season, when gives a rapid "kee-kee-kee..." in... read more


    Open forest including monsoon rainforest, woodland, savanna and adjacent treeless habitats, wooded... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small birds, small insectivorous bats and flying insects. Mostly terrestrial flocking birds, such as larks, pipits, grassfinches (Ploceidae... read more


    Season Aug–Jan in S and C Australia, but commences at least 1 month earlier further N. Peak egg-laying apparently Sept–Oct.... read more


    Resident and partly migratory populations. Birds breeding at high latitudes and altitudes winter in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Fairly common and widespread, even in cities and towns, and considered to be Australia's third-commonest raptor.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).