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Though small in size for a raptor, there is an apparent do or die spirit about them. These are one of those aggressive hunters who perhaps wouldn’t mind taking on a large bird many times their size.

What you see is a female with kill.

More on this don of the raptor family below.

The Shikra is one of commonest of hawks and you would find them almost everywhere in the country. According to wikipedia, the shikra has a large range, extending throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India, and central and south-east Asia, as far as Thailand and Vietnam. This species is also found in the Arabian Peninsula, with native populations occupying Saudi Arabia and introduced populations occurring in the United Arab Emirates.

Another distinctive feature is their piercing call, click the link (source Xeno-canto) below and you would know what I mean.

 

An aggressive hunter, the shikra mainly hunts from a perch. Though popular to be a bird hunter, I have witnessed them prey on nestlings, eggs, frogs and what you see in this image is a lizard.

They are often seen making a short dash through the branches to snatch prey from tree trunks, foliage or the ground. This forceful, surprise attack is usually sufficient to catch the lizards and small birds on which the shikra feasts.

Shikra inhabits a variety of habitat including deciduous woodland, closed canopies and city gardens, making them excellent adaptors and thus one of the widely spread birds of prey that have managed to coexist well even today.