Eurasian Hobby

Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo) or just simply hobby, is a small, slim falcon. Many times, its face particularly resembles slightly that of Peregrine Falcon.

This beautiful raptor is an portrait of patience during early morning times. It keeps sitting on a tree branch for long times unless crows or drongos disturb it

As the day progresses slightly, it becomes active. It takes its prey on wings. It hunts large dragonflies, bats, martins and swallows. It continually harasses these while they are roosting and coming out of the roost.

This raptor visits our area in North India in winters although I have spotted it once in a while during summers also.

My guess is that they are not resident birds but passage migrants here coming here from Eurasian regions to ward off the severe winters and after staying here for some time, again move down towards central and western India where winter is less severe in comparison.

I have taken its pics during this time of the year many times in the forest areas near my home.

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Shaheen Falcon 

There is a forest near my home. It is maintained by Department of Forests. The department has converted a small portion of the forest into a Nature Park. I am a regular visitor to this park where sometimes very different birds make their appearance. One day, I was lucky to spot this beauty perched on the branch of a leafless tree.

It was sitting very patiently perhaps inviting me to take as many pictures as I liked. I took so many pictures. When I processed them, I had some confusion between Eurasian Hobby and Peregrine Falcon because the former was spotted many times by me.

But it turned out to be Shaheen Falcon juvenile.

The shaheen falcon with scientific name Falco peregrinus peregrinator is a subspecies of Peregrine Falcon. It is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent. Other common names for the subspecies include the Indian peregrine falcon, black shaheen falcon, black shaheen, Indian shaheen. It is a master hunter and usually takes the prey in the air. It can achieve horizontal speeds up to 240 kilometres per hour and when it descends, can attain a speed of 300 kilometres per hour.

Peregrine falcons were greatly prized by Mughal kings especially emperor Jahangir. It appears on the emblem of Pakistan Air Force. Pakistani cricket team is also nicknamed after this raptor.

Staring at me
In full glory
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