The Jungle Look

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Besra (Accipiter virgatus)

  1. Long and thin tarsi, with long middle toes. These are adaptations of specialist bird hunters.
  2. Besra has barring on thighs.
  3. Primary projection is compratively short, less than one-third down tail.
  4. Upperparts are darker in coloration and underwings are strongly barred compared to Shikra.
  5. Prominent gular stripe and streaked breast should seperate it from Eurasian Sparrowhawk.
  6. It very much resembles Crested Goshawk, but is smaller, lacks crest, and has longer and finer legs.

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Adult Male Told from Shikra by dark slate-grey upperparts lacking strong contrast with primaries, broad blakish gular stripe, bold rufous streaking on breast and barring on belly, flanks and thighs. Pronounced and broad dark tail barring.

Adult Female Same as male, but upperparts are browner with blackish crown and nape.

Juvenile Has brown upperparts with rufous fringes, prominent gular stripe and streaked/spotted breast and belly and barred flanks.Told from immature Shikra by darker, richer brown upperparts, broader gular stripe and broader tail barring. From Eurasian Sparrowhawk by streaked underparts.

Breeding March to June

Distribution Himalayas, from Kashmir east to Arunachal Pradesh, NE India, Western Ghats, SriLanka.