Why is the shikra different from other birds?

          The shikra is a little killer! It is a bird of prey which is only as big as a pigeon. The female birds are slightly larger in size. They are grey on their upper parts, while the under parts are white, with fine reddish-brown bars on it. They have short rounded wings and a comparatively long tail. Their flight is made possible by long glides.

          These birds are found in pairs, in the neighbourhood of villages and cultivation. Their nests resemble those of crows and are found built on trees rich in leaf cover. Their diet includes small animals like locusts, lizards, frogs and rats. Apart from these, they are clever enough to steal domestic chicken, making them a head ache for poultry farmers.

          Shikra’s calls are mimicked by drongos and this behaviour helps drongos in stealing food by alarming other birds that the drongos associate with. The shikra is found in all parts of India and is also called the little banded goshawk.