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Alternative name: Little Banded Goshawk
26ā30 cm long
In Africa breeds from Senegal, Gambia and southern Mauritania east to Ethiopia and western Somalia and south to South Africa. Absent from the closed forests of Central Africa and the most arid areas of the south-west. Resident.
In Asia breeds from Iran and Pakistan south to southern India and Sri Lanka and north to Kazakhstan and the far west of China. Range extends eastwards to southern China and Hainan and south to southern Thailand. Northern populations are migratory, wintering from Iran to India and South-East Asia. Vagrants recorded in Malaya and Sumatra.
Status in the Western Palearctic is difficult to determine but known to have bred once in southern Azerbaijan in 1933 but not confirmed since. May be present regularly in south-east Transcaucasia and has been recorded as a vagrant in Israel and a bird thought to be a hybrid Shikra x Levant Sparrowhawk has also been recorded there.
Six races recognised with two in Africa: sphenurus from Gambia to northern Tanzania and polyzonoides from southern Tanzania to the Cape.
In Asia cenchroides occurs from Transcaucasia to Central Asia, dussumieri in northern India and the Himalayas, badius in southern India and Sri Lanka and poliopsis from north-east India to China and South-East Asia.
Forest, woodlands and wooded steppes, cultivated areas and often close to human habitation.
The normal flight of this species is a characteristic "flap āflapā glide".