Hobby (Eurasian Hobby)
Distribution Britain 625 (+141%) Ireland 3 (0%)
Numbers breeding: Britain 624 RBBP Ireland 0
European status: 21,000 (3% in Britain and Ireland =10)
British population trend: continued rapid increase
How likely are you to record it? 58 squares (1.3%) Ranked 111
The migrant Hobby is not a danger to gamebirds but nonetheless was persecuted in the past either by mistake for Sparrowhawk or simply as a 'hooky bill'. It was thus depleted at the turn of the century but most counties south of a line from the Humber to the Severn had breeding birds. The birds retreated south and by the time of the first breeding atlas they were thought to be birds of open heathland and were mostly breeding south of the Thames and about 50 km north of it. There were thought to be about 100 pairs. Then it was realised that many were breeding in farmland and they were mapped into Wales and as far north as Shropshire, South Yorkshire and even Tyne and Wear in the second Atlas! The RBBP records indicate a doubling in about 12 years and 1997 was a record year with up to 624 pairs recorded. In Ireland birds are present most years in Wicklow and colonisation is eagerly awaited.
Further expansion and more expected.
Search for another Species
From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead