Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Morning hunter

I had always assumed that raptors - birds of prey - were large creatures, their wide wings allowing them to glide up on high. Little did I know, until about a couple of years ago, that one of the most common raptors in this part of the world is the Shikra (Accipiter badius). Although the name is derived from the Hindi (shikra or shikara), it now seems to be largely accepted as the standard. Though some call it the Little Banded Goshawk, the IUCN's Red List indicates its common name in English as Shikra, so that's what it is, for me!

Interestingly, there is another bird species that derives its (scientific) name from the same Hindi root. The Red-Headed Falcon, which is also somewhat common throughout India, was given the scientific name Falco chicquera!

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