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Shikra - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies A. b. dussumieri, breeding pair : female with yellow iris / male red
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, June-2015

Alternative name: Little Banded Goshawk

Accipiter badius

Identification

25–44·5 cm (9¾-17½ in) long

  • Short broad wings and a long tail
  • Grey orbital ring

Similar species

Eurasian Sparrowhawk shows a yellow orbital ring.

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Rakesh
Hebbal, Bangalore, India, December 2005

Distribution

Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.

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.

Taxonomy

Subspecies

Subspecies A. b. polyzonoides
Photo © by Riqui
Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa, July 2009

Six races recognised with two in Africa[1]:

  • A. b. cenchroides:
  • A. b. dussumieri:
  • A. b. badius:
  • A. b. poliopsis:
  • A. b. sphenurus:
  • A. b. polyzonoides:
  • Southern Democratic Republic of the Congo and southern Tanzania to northern South Africa


Habitat

Forest, woodlands and wooded steppes, cultivated areas and often close to human habitation.

Immature, subspecies A. b. dussumieri
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Gurgaon Rural, Haryana, India, 27 September 2019

Behaviour

Diet

Their diet consists mostly of lizards, gheckos, skinks and small birds.

Flight

The normal flight of this species is a characteristic "flap –flap– glide".

Vocalisation

Recording © by Alok Tewari
Faridabad, Haryana, India, Dec-2016
Call recorded on a busy urban road.

Subspecies A. b. poliopsis, Juvenile
Photo © by tombac
Hua Hin, Thailand, August 2011

Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF Member observations
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2015)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.

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