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Shikra | Birds And Me




Scientific Name:  Accipiter badius

Shikra image

Shikra  Photo by:  Sharvari Daithankar

Bird Type:  Birds of Prey    1668  Views


Shikra adult has yellow bill and legs, and red eyes. Wing tip is rounded. Outer primary tips are black. Head and upperparts are blue-grey.
On the underparts, throat is whitish with median vertical black line. Breast and belly are white, finely streaked with reddish, darker on the breast.
Undertail feathers are grey, barred with darker grey.
Female is larger than male. She has dark orange eyes.
Juvenile has brown-spotted breast, streaked flanks, brown eyes and a black line extending down to the breast.


  • 30-36 cm

  • 12-14 Inch

  • brown

  • white  (Bird may have more colors)
  •    বৰীশেন
  •    શકરો
  •    शिकारा
  •    ಡೇಗೆ
  •    പ്രാപ്പിടിയൻ
  •    शिक्रा
  •    शिक्रा
  •    ਸ਼ਿਕਰਾ
  •    வைரி

The Shikra inhabits a range of habitats including forests, deciduous woodland, plains, farmlands, savanna, arid steppe and urban areas.


Shikra feeds on lizards, geckos and small birds, nestlings and eggs, bats, rodents, frogs and insects. It rarely takes carrion.


Shikra is usually silent, but during the breeding season, it often utters loud and repeated kiiu-kiiu-kiiu. It also gives repeated shrills kewik, with quavering last syllable.


The shikra (Accipiter badius) is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae found widely distributed in Asia and Africa where it is also called the little banded goshawk. The African forms may represent a separate species but have usually been considered as subspecies of the shikra. The shikra is very similar in appearance to other sparrowhawk species including the Chinese goshawk and Eurasian sparrowhawk. They have a sharp two note call and have the typical flap and glide flight. Their calls are imitated by drongos and the common hawk-cuckoo resembles it in plumage.

The shikra is a small raptor (26–30 cm long) and like most other Accipiter hawks, this species has short rounded wings and a narrow and somewhat long tail. Adults are whitish on the underside with fine rufous bars while the upperparts are grey. The lower belly is less barred and the thighs are whitish. Males have a red iris while the females have a less red (yellowish orange) iris and brownish upperparts apart from heavier barring on the underparts. The females are slightly larger. The mesial stripe on the throat is dark but narrow. In flight the male seen from below shows a light wing lining (underwing coverts) and has blackish wing tips. When seen from above the tail bands are faintly marked on the lateral tail feathers and not as strongly marked as in the Eurasian sparrowhawk. The central tail feathers are unbanded and only have a dark terminal band. Juveniles have dark streaks and spots on the upper breast and the wing is narrowly barred while the tail has dark but narrow bands. A post juvenile transitional plumage is found with very strong barring on the contour feathers of the underside. The call is pee-wee, the first note being higher and the second being longer. In flight the calls are shorter and sharper kik-ki ... kik-ki. The Chinese sparrowhawk is somewhat similar in appearance but has swollen bright orange ceres and yellow legs with the wing tips entirely black.

    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season