Shikra

Shikra is a bird of prey and this one lives at Footsteps.

You can always tell when she is around because all is quiet. Sometimes, while sitting in our purpose-built bird hide waiting to get some nice photos of whatever may come along that day, I will think, where are all the birds. Then it dawns on me if there no little birds coming to drink from our pool then it can only mean one thing. Yep, there is a bird of prey about and the one that visits us the most is this fella.

Shikra
One of natures tier 1 hunters
Shikra
Even predators need a bath!

Where is the Shikra found?

I’m happy to say this impressive bird of prey is found at Footsteps ( back of our home by the bird hide ) all year round. See our guided bird-watching trips.

Accipiter badius ( sounds like a badass ) is widely distributed in Asia and Africa where it is also known as The Little Banded Goshawk. It can be found in a range of habitats including urbanised area’s as well as forests and farmland too. Source Wikipedia.

In Gambia this delightful bird is widespread.

What does it look like?

Small by Hawk standards at just 30-36 cm, but don’t let its size fool you, this is one devastating bird. The adult males have striking orange/red eyes and are a blue-grey above with brownish-orange stripes on their underside. You can distinguish the females from the males because they are bigger and their eyes are more a deep yellow/orange-yellow colour.

What does it feed on?

As mentioned earlier this is a tier one predator and not only feeds on frogs and lizards but will also go for birds of almost equal size such as a Coucal.

Want to know an interesting Factoid or two?

The Shikra used to be a favourite with falconers worldwide because they could be trained easily. They were also used to procure food for the more prized falcons. The 149 Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force also has The Shikra as its mascot.

How does it sound?

Known for being quite loud especially in breeding season its call is a shrill Titu Titu.

Shikra
Bird of prey waiting patiently, for lunch perhaps!
Superb footage of a Shikra courtesy of Rob Garner
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