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Accipiter badius

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Stable.

Other Names: Ceylon Shikra, Indian Sparrowhawk, Little Banded Goshawk, Little Banded Sparrowhawk, Shikra Goshawk.

Accipiter badius
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Distribution: Afrotropical/Indomalayan/Palearctic. Throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa from SENEGAMBIA east to southwestern ARABIA and southern SOMALIA south to northern LIBERIA, southern NIGERIA through northern DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO to East Africa; another somewhat disjunct population from southern CONGO to NAMIBIA and northern and eastern SOUTH AFRICA. In Asia, breeds from AZERBAIJAN east through IRAN and southern KAZAKHSTAN to northwestern PAKISTAN and south of the Himalayas throughout the Indian subcontinent eastward to southern CHINA (Yunnan, Hainan) and south through THAILAND and southern Indochina; northern Asian populations are migratory. more....

Subspecies: 6 races. A. b. badius: Southwestern INDIA and SRI LANKA; A. b. cenchroides: AZERBAIJAN east to southern KAZAKHSTAN and northwestern IRAN east to northwestern INDIA south to southwest PAKISTAN, wintering further south in southern Asia and INDIA; A. b. dussumieri: Central INDIA and BANGLADESH; A. b. poliopsis: Northeastern INDIA east to southern CHINA and south to THAILAND and VIETNAM, wintering south to PENINSULAR MALAYSIA and SUMATRA; A. b. polyzonoides: Southern ZAIRE and southern TANZANIA to northern SOUTH AFRICA; A. b. sphenurus: SENEGAMBIA east to southwestern ARABIA, south to northern ZAIRE and northern TANZANIA. more....

Taxonomy: Forms a superspecies with A. butleri and A. brevipes (with which it was formerly considered conspecific) and possibly A. soloensis and A. francesii.

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). Movements are complex and poorly understood. Sedentary in large portions of its range (e.g., East Africa, Zimbabwe), but migratory in others (Caucasus, Central Asia, West Africa, Somalia, and Ethiopia), or nomadic (parts of the Transvaal). In West Africa, it moves south to breed in the dry season and returns north in the rains (Grimes 1987, Gatter 1997, Borrow and Demey 2001). more....

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including savanna, dry and moist woodlands, dense and degraded forest, riparian forests, exotic tree plantations, towns, gardens, and cultivated areas. It is the most tolerant of arid conditions of all southern African Accipiter species (but see Kemp and Kemp 1998). In the Malay Peninsula, it occurs in patchy scrub, including coastal strand vegetation and semi-open agriculture at plains level; avoids closed woodland, but has been seen at the edge of mangroves (Wells 1999). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: In its breeding range, it feeds on lizards, frogs, large insects, and more rarely on small birds and mammals. In southern Africa, it preys mainly on reptiles and also takes small birds, capturing them mostly near the ground after a dive from a concealed perch, but also from tree trunks and foliage, or in flight. Nestling birds are also taken, and birds are ambushed and flown down (Deignan 1945). Termites and small mammals are also taken. more....

Breeding: Builds a small stick nest lined with bark chips and placed in the high fork of a woodland or exotic tree, especially eucalyptus (TArboton 1978). Old magpie nests are also used by some pairs. The pairs shares nest-building duties, with the female doing about twice as much of the work as the male. Only the female incubates at first, but the male takes an increasing share as incubation progresses. Throughout the nesting cycle, the male the female is fed by the male, but only the female feeds the young. Clutch size is 2-4 bluish-white eggs. The incubation period was about 30 days for one egg (Tarboton 1978). more....

Conservation: Common throughout much of its large sub-Saharan range. Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International. more....

Population Estimates: The European population was estimated at 10-50 breeding pairs by BirdLife International (2004).

Important References: 
Allan, D.G. 1997. Little Banded Goshawk. Pp. 226-227 in J.A. Harrison et
  al. (eds.). The atlas of South African birds. Volume 1: Non-passerines.
  BirdLife South Africa and Avian Demography Unit, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Brown, L.H., E.K. Urban, and K. Newman. 1982. The birds of Africa. Vol. 1.
  Academic Press, London.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Kemp, A.C. 1994. Shikra. P. 146 in del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J.
  Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New World vultures
  to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Naoroji, R. 2006. Birds of prey of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher
  Helm, London.
Steyn, P. 1982. Birds of prey of southern Africa: their identification and
  life histories. David Phillip, Cape Town, South Africa.
Tarboton, W.R., and D.G. Allan. 1984. The status and conservation of birds
  of prey in the Transvaal. Transvaal Museum Monograph no. 3. Transvaal
  Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.

Sites of Interest:
Shikra photos.

Rangasamy, Dhanapal
Sanir, Teuku
Sharma, Manoj
Verma, Saurabh

Last modified: 9/7/2011

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Shikra Accipiter badius. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 31 May. 2020

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