• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Shikra - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies A. b. dussumieri, breeding pair : female with yellow iris / male red
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, 19 June 2015

Alternative name: Little Banded Goshawk

Accipiter badius


Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dwarahat, Almora, India, 8 April 2017

25–44·5 cm (9¾-17½ in) long

  • Short broad wings and a long tail
  • Grey orbital ring

Similar species

Immature, subspecies A. b. dussumieri
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Gurgaon Rural, Haryana, India, 27 September 2019

Eurasian Sparrowhawk shows a yellow orbital ring.


Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Rakesh
Hebbal, Bangalore, India, 2 December 2005

Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.

In Africa breeds from Senegal, Gambia and southern Mauritania east to Ethiopia and western Somalia and south to South Africa. Absent from the closed forests of Central Africa and the most arid areas of the south-west. Resident.

In Asia breeds from Iran and Pakistan south to southern India and Sri Lanka and north to Kazakhstan and the far west of China. Range extends eastwards to southern China and Hainan and south to southern Thailand. Northern populations are migratory, wintering from Iran to India and South-East Asia. Vagrants recorded in Malaya and Sumatra.

Status in the Western Palearctic is difficult to determine but known to have bred once in southern Azerbaijan in 1933 but not confirmed since. May be present regularly in south-east Transcaucasia and has been recorded as a vagrant in Israel and a bird thought to be a hybrid Shikra x Levant Sparrowhawk has also been recorded there.


Subspecies A. b. polyzonoides
Photo © by Riqui
Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa, 14 July 2009


Photo © by whiteheadedvulture
Konkori, Kumasi,Ghana, 7 April 2024

Six races recognised with two in Africa[1]:

  • A. b. cenchroides:
  • A. b. dussumieri:
  • A. b. badius:
  • A. b. poliopsis:
  • A. b. sphenurus:
  • A. b. polyzonoides:
  • Southern Democratic Republic of the Congo and southern Tanzania to northern South Africa


Forest, woodlands and wooded steppes, cultivated areas and often close to human habitation.



Their diet consists mostly of lizards, gheckos, skinks and small birds.


The normal flight of this species is a characteristic "flap –flap– glide".


Recording © by Alok Tewari
Faridabad, Haryana, India, Dec-2016
Call recorded on a busy urban road.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF Member observations
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2015)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1