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Accipiter virgatus

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Accipitriformes

Familia: Accipitridae
Genus: Accipiter
Species: Accipiter virgatus
Subspecies: A. v. abdulali – A. v. affinis – A. v. besra – A. v. confusus – A. v. fuscipectus – A. v. nisoides – A. v. quagga – A. v. quinquefasciatus – A. v. rufotibialis – A. v. vanbemmeli – A. v. virgatus

Accipiter virgatus (Temminck, 1822)

Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d'oiseaux livr.19 pl.109

Vernacular names
čeština: Krahujec besra
English: Besra
Esperanto: Besro
español: Azor chico índico
Bahasa Indonesia: Alap-alap
Bahasa Melayu: Burung Lang Pipit
polski: Krogulec orientalny
Sunda: Alap-alap

he besra (Accipiter virgatus), also called the besra sparrowhawk, is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.

The besra is a widespread resident breeder in dense forests throughout southern Asia, ranging from the Indian subcontinent eastwards across Southeast Asia and into East Asia. It nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It lays 2 to 5 eggs.

This bird is a medium-sized raptor (29 to 36 cm) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast maneuvering through dense vegetation. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic "flap–flap–glide".

This species is like a darker version of the widespread shikra with darker upperparts, strongly barred underwing, broader gular stripe and thin long legs and toes. The adult male besra has dark blue-grey upperparts, and is white, barred reddish brown below. The larger female is browner above than the male. The juvenile is dark brown above and white, barred with brown below. In all plumages have 3-4 equally sized dark bands on uppertail.

In winter, the besra will emerge into more open woodland including savannah and cultivation. Its hunting technique is similar to other small hawks such as the sparrowhawk and the sharp-shinned hawk, relying on surprise as it flies from a hidden perch or flicks over a bush to catch its prey unaware.

The prey is lizards, dragonflies, and small birds and mammals.
Besra Illustration by Keulemans
At Sattal, India

The besra includes the following recognized subspecies:[2]

A. v. affinis - Hodgson, 1836
A. v. fuscipectus - Mees, 1970
A. v. besra - Jerdon, 1839
A. v. vanbemmeli - Voous, 1950
A. v. rufotibialis - Sharpe, 1887
A. v. virgatus (Temminck, 1822)
A. v. quinquefasciatus - Mees, 1984
A. v. abdulalii - Mees, 1981
A. v. confusus - Hartert, 1910
A. v. quagga - Parkes, 1973


BirdLife International (2016). "Accipiter virgatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22695588A93517794. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22695588A93517794.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.

Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2020. IOC World Bird List (v10.2). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.10.2.

Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6

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