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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Besra

The Besra (Accipiter virgatus) is a bird of prey found in dense forests throughout south Asia from Pakistan and India to south China and Indonesia. Though mainly resident year-round, in winter it will move to more open woodland.

The Besra is 11.5 to 14.25 inches long and has short broad wings and a long tail. The adult has a dark vertical throat stripe. The male has dark blue-gray upperparts, and is white with reddish barring below. The larger female is browner above than the male. The young is dark brown above and white below with brown barring. The tail and underwings are barred.

The hunting technique of this species is similar to other small hawks. It relies on surprise as it flies from a hidden perch or flies over a bush to catch its prey unaware. It feeds on lizards, dragonflies, and small birds and mammals. It nests in trees and builds a new nest each year. The clutch is 2 to 5 eggs.

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Besra