Shikras (Accipiter badius) are a raptor found in the continents of Africa and Asia. They are very common in the Indian subcontinent. These birds are also known as Indian sparrowhawk, little baned goshawk, and little banded sparrowhawk.
Shikras are not that big in size but their hunting skills are extremely proficient. These birds are also gifted with excellent vision. This is why shikras were very commonly used in falconry. A shikra bird is known to build its nest in trees and apair of these birds participate in nest-building together. However, females tend to be more particular about what their nests should be like. They are found in different kinds of habitats and can also be seen in urban and populated areas. Though these birds are relatively quiet throughout the year, they get quite vocal during the mating season. The shikra bird population is also quite stable throughout its range.
To learn more about shikra, continue reading! If you like this article, you can also check out sea eagle and hawk.
What do they prey on?
Insects, small birds, rodents, reptiles, and squirrels
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
4.4 oz (124.7 g)
How long are they?
10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Gray, reddish-orange, and white
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Forests, urban areas, and farms
Asia and Africa
Shikra Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a shikra?
Shikra (Accipiter badius) is a kind of bird. There are six sub-species of shikra found in their usual range. Other names for a shikra are Indian sparrowhawk, little banded goshawk, and little banded sparrowhawk.
What class of animal does a shikra belong to?
Shikra belongs to the class Aves. They are a raptor belonging to the order Accipitriformes that includes eagles, hawks, kites, and vultures.
How many shikras are there in the world?
The shikra (Accipiter badius) population is considered to be stable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN. The number of mature individuals belonging to this species is within a range of 500,000 to 999,999.
Where does a shikra live?
Shikras are found in South Asia and Africa. They are a widespread resident in South Asia and India.
What is a shikra's habitat?
A shikra, or an Indian sparrowhawk, is most commonly found in forests, farms, and some urban areas. They can also be seen in steppes, woodlands, and savannas. They live in nests built in trees in such regions.
Who do shikras live with?
Shikras are seen both in pairs and on their own. Parent shikras are also known to live with and provide parental care to their nestlings.
How long does a shikra live?
The lifespan of a shikra bird (Accipiter badius) is between two and half to seven years.
How do they reproduce?
Shikras are known to make a number of calls during the breeding season. Breeding pairs also engage in a special kind of flight as part of their mating ritual. Shikras are known to be very selective of their nesting site, and both males and females engage in finding the right place for their nest. A female bird lays three to four eggs and incubates the eggs for 18 to 21 days before the chicks hatch out. Both males and females are known to engage in parental care.
What is their conservation status?
The conservation status of shikra (Accipiter badius) is marked as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in their IUCN Red List. However, this species does face some threats in the West African region due to problems caused by people.
Shikra Fun Facts
What do shikras look like?
Shikras (Accipiter badius) are small birds of prey with rounded wings and a long tail. They are seen with a yellow beak and legs. Their head and upper parts appear blue-gray, while their under-belly is reddish-orange to white. They also have a crooked beak and sharp talons. Females appear larger than males and have an orange iris, while male birds have a red iris.
How cute are they?
This raptor species does appear quite cute and majestic.
How do they communicate?
Shikras mainly use a range of vocalizations like 'pee-wee' and 'kik-ki-kik-ki' to communicate.
How big is a shikra?
An adult shikra (Accipiter badius) bird has a length of 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm). They are smaller than bald eagles.
How fast can a shikra fly?
Shikras are known to be quite adept at flying. Their flight has rapid wing beats and short gliding movements. The wingspan of these birds is between 21.5-24 in (54.6-61 cm). They can easily swoop down to catch their prey. Their tail lets them maneuver during flight.
How much does a shikra weigh?
The average weight of an adult shikra is 4.4 oz (124.7 g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
Generally, male and female birds of this species are known as male shikra birds and female shikra birds, respectively.
What would you call a baby shikra?
Baby shikra birds are known as 'chicks' or 'nestlings'.
What do they eat?
Shikras are highly skilled at hunting and feed on a variety of animals like insects, small birds, rodents, reptiles, and squirrels.
Are they dangerous?
Shikras can attack humans in order to protect their nests.
Would they make a good pet?
Shikra birds are not commonly kept as pets. In India, it is illegal to keep these birds as pets as they are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Did you know...
The name 'shikra' is taken from the Urdu language and means 'hunter'.
Indian shikras display sedentary behavior, whereas the ones living in northern areas tend to migrate during winter.
Are shikras a type of hawk?
Shikras are considered to be hawks as they belong to the same order as them. Just like other hawks, shikras also have long tails and good vision.
Were shikras used in falconry?
Falconry is considered to be the method of hunting wild animals with the use of trained birds of prey. Shikras were very commonly used in falconry due to their skilled way of hunting, especially in India. However, this is no longer the case as falconry has become illegal in India.
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