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The Eurasian hobby

25 November 2014

www.leopard.tv

It is surprising that the Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo occurs more widely in South Africa than the African hobby Falco cuvieri which mostly occurs more north into Africa and elsewhere in the world. As their generic name indicates, the two species of hobby in the world are falcons with specific common names.The name hobby is derived from an Old English name hobi which is a nickname for these small falcons. In humans hobbits are small, imagery people with hairy feet and their name comes from the same linguistic root. The generic name Falco means falcon while subbuteo is derived from Latin and means related to a buzzard. Buzzards are hawks of the genus Butteo and subbuteo therefore means smaller than a hawk. The Eurasian hobby was first described by Linnaeus in 1758 based on a specimen from Sweden... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

Reference:

Hockey, P A R, W R J Dean & P G Ryan (Eds) 2005. Roberts – birds of southern Africa, seventh edition. Cape Town: The John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, pp 554 - 555.

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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