Following previous observations of the behaviour of fledgling Hobbies in 2013, 2016 and 2017, two fledglings raised from a nest in an electricity pylon were closely monitored up to and including 8 October 2019 (when one of the fledglings was seen for the last time). After fledging, the young stayed in the vicinity of the nest for 39 days, i.e. 12 days longer than the adults. As long as the adults were present, the young stayed in pylons or sitting on heaps of earth (170-440 m away from the nest) for extensive periods of time, waiting for the parents to bring food. When staying in pylons, the young were often choosing high posts, watching the environment, preening and allopreening, and sometimes lying down on the cross arm. From late September onwards, the young used earth heaps and poles in farmland as sitting post. Their ‘waiting’ behaviour changed into more active behaviour probably associated with declining food deliveries of parent birds and with attempts to capture prey themselves (indirectly recorded via prey remains in pellets, such as voles/mice and beetles). Also, the young became more assertive, once even trying to chase away a Peregrine Falcon (which reversed roles and chased the young away). Capturing vertebrate prey, i.e. a Blue Tit, by a fledgling Hobby was recorded for the first time on 2 October 2019, after failed catching attempts on Starling and White Wagtail had been recorded from 28 September onwards. An attempt to steal a vole from a Kestrel was also observed. It shows that young Hobbies are able to capture vertebrate prey prior to migration.

De Takkeling

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Werkgroep Roofvogels Nederland

H. de Nie, & W. van Barneveld jr. (2020). Over uitzonderlijk laat uitgevlogen jongen van de Boomvalk Falco subbuteo, met waarnemingen van door henzelf gevangen gewervelde prooien. De Takkeling, 28(2), 155–165.