Sunday, January 17, 2016

Shikra (Juvenile)

At a recent birding trip to Neura village in Goa,( thanks to our friend Tallulah for the invite ) we chanced ourselves on this Juvenile Shikra (Accipiter badius). It was flying quite low, from one bush to another, definitely hunting something. It's long tail and broad wings, gave the bird good maneuverability in tight spaces. Our presence may have been a bit of an irritation to the bird, but we parted ways quite soon.
 "I wonder that my very simple stratagem could deceive so old a shikari" said Sherlock Holmes, in "The return of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle. 'Shikari' is Hindi, Urdu and Persian for hunter and it is from this word the Shikra gets its name. The bird's usual diet consists of lizards, frogs, grasshoppers and small birds, but in the hands of an proficient falconer the Shikra was trained to hunt bigger birds like quails, crows and partridges. A Shikra could be easily trained by a falconer (in as short as 10 days) and was hence used by them to catch food for their more valuable birds like the Falcons and Goshawks.
The bird we spotted was a Juvenile, probably less than a year old. As a rule, birds of prey lay no more than four eggs. Eggs in the larger clutches are laid at intervals of tow or four days- and there is thus considerable variation in the size of nestlings. The first one out of the egg, thus has a great advantage over other fellows. The parents feed the larger, more alertly begging chicks and may neglect the others completely, leaving the the weaker one to die from starvation. So it is extremely likely that our Shikra was the eldest and the first to crack his egg.
'Lost Tribes Beverage' is a microbrewery that specialises in brewing beers using ancient and forgotten beer recipes. One of their beers is called 'Shikra', which is Aramic for alcoholic beverage. Meanwhile cheers and enjoy a Shikra. 

1 comment:

  1. how coincidental.. i had a shikra sighting in the middle of delhi a coupla hours back, and your post showed up in my feed! it seems they are in business in this season.