(1727) Falco subbuteo streichi.
THE CHINESE HOBBY.
Falco subbuteo streichi Hartert & Neum., Journ. fur Orn., 1907, p. 572 (Swatow, South China). Falco subbuteo. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 422 (part.).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Differs from the European Hobby only in its smaller size.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding race.
Measurements. Wing, 235 to 258 mm., 245 to 268 mm.; tail 121 to 133 mm. ; tarsus 30 to 32 mm.; culmen 15 to 17 mm.; mid-toe and claw 35 to 36 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in South China and as far West as the Shan States. Harington found a Hobby, not severus, breeding in the Ruby Mines District which was evidently the present race, both Cook and Livesey have also recorded the occurrence of a Hobby in the same district, whilst there is one specimen, unsexed, of this race in the British Museum from these States. Forrest obtained it in Yunnan.
Nidification. La Touche and Rickett found this Hobby breeding freely in Fokhien from May to July, whilst Vaughan and Jones obtained eggs near Howlik in June and July. The eggs are laid in old nests of Kites, Magpies, Crows or Mynas, and number from two to four, three being the most usual number. One set of eggs taken by Jones was laid in an old nest on the top of a. pagoda but the site normally selected is one on a tree standing either by itself or in a small clump or orchard. Fifteen eggs taken by La Touche and five others taken by Jones average 40.1 x 31.7 mm. : maxima 43.1 X 32.5 and 40.6 x 34.0 mm.; minima 38.1 X 29.7 and 38.5 x 29.5 mm.
Habits. This Hobby is said to collect in flocks of some size prior to local migration in September and October. According to Vaughan and Jones it is a resident bird inland but only visits the coast as a casual visitor in Winter. It feeds largely on insects but also on small birds and mammals. It is a very bold bird and seems to have a special antipathy to Kites, which it attacks viciously whatever the season of the year, making its loud screaming cry at the same time.