Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Shikra (Little Banded Goshawk)

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The first time I saw this Shikra [also called Little Banded Goshawk (Accipiter badius)], I was only able to get one quick slightly unsharp image of it before it took off. However, this bird seems to be the resident “top predator”  around our house. It was not only back before long, but seems to be getting used to me creeping up on it to take pictures too.

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The Shikra is a comparatively smaller member of the eagle family, reaching sizes of just about 30 cm long. The sexes are similar but the female is larger than the male and is darker and browner. However, the juvenile has a black stripe on the throat, brown, drop-like streaking on the breast, barring on its flanks, and the has yellow-brown eyes.

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the bird feeds chiefly on lizards, dragonflies, frogs, small birds and animals. It often perches on hidden branches, and surprises its prey by dashing in and grabbing it.

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The adult male shikra has a striking red eye while the adult female has a deep-orange eye. From what I can make out, the bird in these images seems to be a female as its eyes are dark orange rather than red.

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