The Eurasian hobby hunts on the wing, often at dusk, using its rapid and acrobatic flight to out-manoeuvre even the most agile prey. The diet consists mainly of flying insects, which are usually eaten in flight, as well as small birds, particularly swallows, martins and swifts. Other prey, such as bats and lizards, are also occasionally taken, and the hobby often follows fires or farm vehicles, which flush out prey (2) (4) (5) (6).
Breeding takes place relatively late in the year, usually from late May to August, allowing the Eurasian hobby to feed its chicks on an abundance of dragonflies and fledgling birds (4) (9). During courtship, the breeding pair may perform spectacular aerial food-passes,in which the male passes prey to the female at lightning speed (4) (6). Two to four eggs are laid, in the disused nest of another species, almost always in a tree (2) (4) (5). Incubation, which lasts from 27 to 33 days, is mainly performed by the female, while the male hobby does most of the hunting (2) (9). The young leave the nest at 28 to 34 days, and are dependent on the adults for a further 5 weeks (2) (4). Lifespan may be up to ten years or more in the wild (2).