Birds of Morni: Shikra

Shikra (Accipiter badius) is a lightly built hawk the size of a pigeon. The hawk is ashy blue-grey above and white below. The breast is cross barred rusty brown. The females are larger than the males and appear browner. The tail has broad blackish cross bars.  Shikra can be seen hunting in lightly wooded country and in Himalayas upto 1300 metres elevation. Shikra avoids thick forests and is fond of groves near scrub or village outskirts. Its flight is swift and it glides low, over land. It perches on leafy tree tops and on spotting the prey swoops down to lift the prey in a sharp upward ascent back to the perch. It feeds on mice, squirrels, birds, lizards etc. It builds its nest high in a leafy mango etc. The nest is an untidy and loose platform of twigs and grass.Its call is loud and harsh.



Shikra feeding on a Rock Pigeon

Immature Shikra is brown above with broad vertical streaks on the underside.

Shikra feathers
Shikra  (immature) feathers
Shikra, Shivalik hills near Jagjit nagar
Shikra, Shivalik hills near Jagjit nagar

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