Saturday, July 16, 2011

A bird hunting on birds - Shikra!

One day at forenoon I heard a bird's call, "tit titee..tit titee." I was curious to locate its source and went on searching for the bird. But I could not. Suddenly I heard the cry of other common birds of the locality accompanied by their helter-skelter flying away. This is to avoid the attacking by a bird of prey. It had perched on the nearby tree - unseen: I saw it fly after a prey from my side! It is the Shikra (Accipiter badius dussumieri, 'Vairee' in Tamil). It can be seen in semi urban areas in the cover of tree foliage. Otherwise its presence will be revealed only by its call. Its English name is derived from the Hindi name for hunter, 'Shikari.' It feeds on small birds, squirrels, lizards and even snakes! It is a small bird - smaller than a pigeon. It has greyish upper parts and whitish underparts having brownish bands. Its breeding season is between March and June. Eggs are laid in nests.; the chicks hatch out in three weeks time. I have seen this shikra used by nomads in getting pigeons hunted and brought! It is said that falconers also train this bird to get the hunted foods for feeding the falcons! Contrary to our expectation, shikra doesn't fly away from us on spotting it perching on a nearby tree: it is used to human presence.
Shikra is a wonder bird having different nature among bird kinds - a bird hunting on birds!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...