Species of Thailand
Thai: เหยี่ยวนกกระจอกเล็ก, yiow nok kra-jok lek
Binomial name: Accipiter virgatus, Coenraad Jacob Temminck, 1822
The besra (Accipiter virgatus) 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 manoeuvring. The normal flight of this species is a characteristic "flap–flap–glide", and the barred underwings are a distinction from the shikra, A. badius.
This species is like a darker version of the widespread shikra, but all plumages have a dark vertical throat stripe. The adult male besra has dark blue-grey upperparts, and is white, barred reddish below. The larger female is browner above than the male. The juvenile is dark brown above and white, barred with brown below. It has a barred tail.
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.
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- Accipiter virgatus
- Thai: เหยี่ยวนกกระจอกเล็ก, yiow nok kra-jok lek
Least Concern (IUCN3.1)
- Ban Bueng District, Chonburi
- Bang Saphan Noi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
- Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
- Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
- Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
- Doi Inthanon National Park
- Doi Lang
- Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
- Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
- Doi Phu Kha National Park
- Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai
- Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
- Hang Chat District, Lampang
- Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kaeng Krachan National Park
- Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
- Khao Dinsor (Chumphon Raptor Center)
- Khao Laem National Park
- Khao Luang National Park
- Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
- Khao Yai National Park
- Khlong Lan National Park
- Khun Chae National Park
- Kui Buri National Park
- Laem Pak Bia
- Mae Wong National Park
- Mu Ko Chang National Park
- Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
- Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
- Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
- Nam Nao National Park
- Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
- Pa Sang District, Lamphun
- Pak Thale
- Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
- Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
- Phu Soi Dao National Park
- Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
- Sai Yok National Park
- Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
- Samut Prakan Province
- Tat Mok National Park
Range map of Accipiter virgatus in Thailand
Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.
Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.
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