The Iranian Shikra (Accipiter badius) Cenchroides sub specie is a small breeding summer visitor bird of prey in Iran in the family Accipitridae, which most often winters south Iran as well. Other main close members in Iran are Goshawk, Levant sparrowhawk and Sparrowhawk. They are the sole small bird of prey the fills the wildlife cycle during spring and summer in northern open woodlands of Iran.
The Shikra is a widespread resident breeder throughout Iran and is an avid spring visitor to northern open woodlands of Iran. It nests in trees, specially maple trees which grows higher, building a new nest each year [I am still working on this statement to see if it is true]. It lays 3–7 eggs but i haven’t seen them with more than 4 nestlings year after year.
This bird is a small raptor (26–30cm long) with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to fast maneuvering. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic “flap –flap– glide”.
The adult Shikra has pale grey upperparts and is white, finely barred reddish below. Sexes are similar except that the female is larger than the male. The juvenile is brown above and white, spotted with brown below. It has a barred tail.
The Shikra is a bird of open woodland including Northern Tehran and expand the strip to east and west along alborz low land open woods. Its hunting technique is similar to that of other small hawks such as the Sparrow hawk or the Sharp-shinned Hawk, relying on surprise as it flies from a hidden perch or flicks over a bush to catch its prey unaware. In breeding season they heavily bread on lizards for them to produce quality Calcium rich eggs and for their nestlings to grow feathers.
The prey is lizards, dragonflies, and small birds and mammals.