The population of Hobbies in the province of Zeeland (SW-Netherlands, 1551 km2, almost entirely farmland) is estimated at 40-50 pairs in 2001. The present study was carried out in Noord- and Zuid-Beveland, a 47,000 ha large section of Zeeland. Hobbies were absent or extremely scarce in this region up to the 1990s, with only a single (possible) breeding case recorded in 1983-91. In 1998-2000, however, 12-15 breeding pairs were located annually (5-9 nests), i.e. a density of 2.6-3.2 pairs/100 km2. The increase in the Bevelanden is thought to have resulted from the planting of poplars along dikes and the increase of the carrion crow Corvus corone as a breeding bird. Crow’s nests in tall poplars are attractive nesting sites for Hobbies. The years 2001 and 2002, however, showed some decline, with respectively 12 territories (5 nests) and 8 territories (3 nests). Many poplars are presently being cut, whereas main prey species as hirundines, skylarks and sparrows may have declined (as suggested for nearby Noord-Brabant and other regions in The Netherlands). Another threat is posed by Northern Goshawks, of which the first successful breeding case occurred in Zeeland in 2002, till then the only province in The Netherlands where Goshawks were absent as a breeding bird. A total of 29 nests were located in 58 territories recorded in 1998-2002. 49 young fledged from 23 nests, i.e. 2.1 fledglings/successful nest. Prey choice was established by observing hunting Hobbies, checking nests for remains and pellets and identifying pluckings. Main prey were swifts, hirundines and sparrows (Table 1). Prey mass varied between 16 and 130 g, but was mostly 20-40 g.