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Shikra

The Shikra (Accipiter badius) is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is a widespread resident breeder throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. New nests are built in trees each year. Clutches contain anywhere from three to seven eggs.

This bird is a small raptor (26-30cm) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast maneuvering. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic “flap – flap – glide”.

The adult Shikra has pale grey upperparts, and is white, finely barred reddish below. Both male and female are similar except for the female being larger in size. Juveniles are brown above and white spotted with brown below. It has a barred tail.

This bird prefers open woodland including savannah and cultivated areas. It hunts just like other small hawks, such as Sparrowhawk (A. nisus) or Sharp-shinned Hawk (A. striatus), relying on surprise as it flies from a hidden perch or flicks over a bush to catch its prey unaware.

Favorite prey includes lizards, dragonflies, small birds and mammals.

Shikra


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