The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Shikra

Afrikaans name: Gebande sperwer

A Shikra perched on a branch

Shikra

Photo © Adobe Stock

Accipiter badius

The Shikra was known for many years in South Africa as the Little Banded Goshawk. Although it is found in much of Africa, the Middle East, and south and south-eastern Asia. In South Africa it is found in the north-eastern regions of the country.

It is a common bird that does not migrate. They are normally seen singly while perched high up in a tree. It is quite a vocal bird, and this often gives its presence away.

The Shikra is around 28 cm in length which is about half the length of a Black Sparrowhawk. Their wingspan is about 58 cm. Their upperparts are grey, and their underparts are white covered with fine russet bars. The male has a red eye while that of the female is orange. The bill is black with a yellow cere. The legs and feet are yellow.

Most of the Shikra’s diet is made up of lizards with small birds making up most of the rest. They catch their prey by dropping down on to it from a perch.

Their breeding season runs from September to November. The nest is constructed from twigs and placed in the fork of a tree or on a horizontal branch. Either 2 or 3 dull eggs are laid. The male brings food to the nest for the nestlings but only the female feeds them.

The Hindu word "Shikra" means "hunter" and these birds were widely used by falconers in Pakistan and India.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 58

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 81

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 120

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 1

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 64

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 46

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 139

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 166

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 112

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 143

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 86

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 176

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 176

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 85

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 107

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 115

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 64

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Published: 1989 - Page: 518

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 57

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 13

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 134

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 87

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 54

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 115

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 67

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 84

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 172

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 98

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 80

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 82

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 134

BirdLife South Africa


Top

List of South African Birds

Got a comment about the content on this page?





This website features affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2023. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use