Shikra

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Shikra
Missing image
Shikra_small.jpg
Image:Shikra small.jpg


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Accipiter
Species:A. badius
Binomial name
Accipiter badius
Gmelin,, 1788

The Shikra (Accipiter badius) is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers.

The Shikra is a widespread resident breeder throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It lays 3-7 eggs.

This bird is a small raptor (26-30cm) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast manoeuvring. 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. Sexes are similar except that female is larger than the male. The juvenile is brown above and white, spotted with brown below. It has a barred tail.

Shikra is a bird of open woodland including savannah and cultivation. Its hunting technique is similar to 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.

The prey is lizards, dragonflies, and small birds and mammals.

References

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