The Majestic Besra: A Stunning Bird of Prey from Southeast Asia

Have you ever witnessed the grace and power of a raptor soaring through the sky, with its sharp eyes focused on its prey below? One bird that embodies this spirit is the Besra, a magnificent species of Accipitriformes found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

At first glance, the Besra may seem like just another ordinary bird, but upon closer inspection, one can appreciate its unique features and extraordinary abilities. In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of the Besra, from its scientific name to its eating habits, and why it is truly a remarkable bird of prey.

A Closer Look at the Besra

Before we get into the details, let's start with the basics Besra. The scientific name of the Besra is Accipiter virgatus. Accipiter comes from the Latin word "accipere," which means to seize or capture, while virgatus means adorned with stripes or banded. This name perfectly encapsulates the essence of this bird – a skilled hunter with elegant plumage.

The Besra is also commonly known as the "Crested Goshawk" or "Shikra" in India and is a member of the Accipitridae family. It belongs to the same genus as other hawks, such as the Northern Goshawk and the Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Where Can You Find the Besra?

The Besra is primarily found in forests, bamboo groves, and woodland edges in Southeast Asia, particularly in countries like India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan. This bird prefers lowland areas but can also be found in higher elevations, up to 1,500 meters above sea level.

Furthermore, the Besra is a migratory bird, and its presence can be observed in different parts of the world depending on the season. During the breeding season, they can be found in Southeast Asia, while in winter, they migrate to south China and the Philippines Black And Crimson Oriole.

A Magnificent Hunter with Impressive Eating Habits

As a carnivore, the Besra's main diet consists of small birds, reptiles, and mammals. However, unlike other birds of prey who hunt from a perched position, the Besra is more active and agile in its hunting methods. It uses its sharp talons and hooked beak to capture its prey, which often includes other birds in flight.

What sets the Besra apart is its ability to change its hunting technique depending on its prey. If it's chasing smaller birds, it will pursue them through dense vegetation. On the other hand, when targeting larger prey, it will use its unique flying skills to catch its prey in mid-air.

The Unique Body Shape and Coloration of the Besra

The Besra has a small and compact body, making it an excellent aerial hunter. Its streamlined body shape allows it to move swiftly through the dense forests in pursuit of its prey, making it a formidable predator.

The plumage of the Besra is another striking feature. Its upperparts are dark brown, while its underparts are white with fine brown bars. This pattern helps it blend into its surroundings, making it easier to sneak up on unsuspecting prey. Additionally, the Besra has a prominent crest at the back of its head, giving it a regal appearance.

Conservation Status and Threats to the Besra

While the Besra is not considered an endangered species, its populations are declining due to habitat loss and degradation. Deforestation and the conversion of natural habitats into agricultural lands are the primary threats to this bird of prey.

Moreover, the use of pesticides and rodenticides also poses a danger to the Besra, as it can consume contaminated prey, leading to the decline of its population.

What Can be Done to Protect the Besra?

As human activities continue to disturb and destroy the natural habitats of the Besra, it is crucial to take measures to protect this majestic bird. One way to do so is by promoting sustainable development practices that minimize the destruction of forests and provide protected areas for the Besra to thrive in.

Furthermore, individuals can also support organizations working towards the conservation of birds by donating or volunteering their time to raise awareness about these magnificent creatures.


In conclusion, the Besra is a fascinating bird of prey that has much to offer in terms of its unique features and impressive skills. Its small size and compact body shape make it an exceptional hunter, and its coloration allows it to blend effortlessly into its surroundings.

However, with the threat of habitat loss and degradation, it is essential to take action now to protect the Besra and other birds of prey. Let us all do our part to preserve the natural world and create a future where these magnificent creatures can continue to thrive and soar through the skies.



Bird Details Besra - Scientific Name: Accipiter virgatus

  • Categories: Birds B
  • Scientific Name: Accipiter virgatus
  • Common Name: Besra
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Habitat: Forests, bamboo groves, and woodland edges
  • Eating Habits: Carnivore
  • Feeding Method: Hunting
  • Geographic Distribution: Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent
  • Country of Origin: India
  • Location: Southeast Asia
  • Color: Dark brown upperparts and white underparts with fine brown bars
  • Body Shape: Small and compact



  • Length: 30-40 cm
  • Adult Size: Small
  • Age: Up to 12 years
  • Reproduction: Sexual
  • Reproduction Behavior: Monogamous
  • Migration Pattern: Partial migrant
  • Social Groups: Solitary
  • Behavior: Aggressive
  • Threats: Habitat loss and illegal hunting
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Unique Features: Long tail and short wings for maneuverability in dense forest
  • Fun Facts: The Besra is known for its impressive hunting skills, capturing its prey with swift and precise movements.
  • Reproduction Period: March to September
  • Hive Characteristics: Built on tree branches using sticks and lined with leaves
  • Lifespan: Up to 12 years

The Majestic Besra: A Stunning Bird of Prey from Southeast Asia

Accipiter virgatus

The Fascinating World of Besras: A Closer Look at the Small Raptors With Big Personalities

When it comes to birds of prey, the ones that tend to capture our imagination are usually the larger and more ferocious species like eagles, hawks, and falcons. However, in the dense and diverse forests of Southeast Asia, there is a small but mighty raptor that deserves just as much attention - the Besra.

Measuring only 30-40 cm in length, the Besra may be small in size, but it certainly makes up for it with its fierce personality and unique features. In this article, we will take a closer look at the fascinating world of Besras and discover what makes them stand out from other raptor species DatuSarakai.Com.

Small But Mighty in Size and Behavior

The Besra (Accipiter virgatus) is a bird of prey that falls under the family Accipitridae, which includes eagles, hawks, and buzzards. They are commonly found in Southeast Asia, specifically in countries like India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Despite their small size, Besra adults can weigh up to 300 grams, with females being slightly larger than males. They have a wingspan of about 60-80 cm and are known for their short wings and long, slender tails. These unique features allow them to maneuver swiftly and precisely through the dense forest canopies, making them excellent hunters.

The Besra's foraging behavior is also quite impressive. They are diurnal birds, meaning they are active during the day. They use their keen eyesight to scan the forest for prey, which mainly consists of small birds, insects, and small mammals. Once they spot their prey, they use their swift and agile movements to capture it, often in mid-air Black Capped Warbling Finch. This hunting technique has earned them a reputation for being skilled and efficient hunters.

Monogamous Reproduction Behavior

While their hunting skills may be impressive, the Besra's reproductive behavior is also worthy of admiration. They are monogamous birds, which means they mate with only one partner for life. This behavior is not uncommon among raptors, as a strong pair bond is crucial for successfully raising and protecting their offspring.

The breeding period for Besras occurs from March to September, with females laying between 2-4 eggs in a carefully built nest made of sticks and lined with leaves. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the hatchlings, ensuring their survival and growth.

Partial Migration and Social Groups

Besras are known as partial migrants, which means they do not fully migrate to another location but instead move to nearby areas with more favorable conditions. In the non-breeding season, they may travel to lower elevations, where food and weather conditions are more suitable. However, some populations of Besras are completely sedentary, staying within their territories year-round.

As for their social structure, Besras are mostly solitary birds, except during the breeding season, when they mate and raise their young together. However, they may also form small flocks during migration or while foraging for food. In these groups, they may display aggressive behavior towards other Besras, particularly if they feel their territories are being threatened.

Threats and Conservation Status

As with many other species of birds, the Besra faces several threats to its population. Habitat loss, primarily due to deforestation and human development, is one of the most significant threats to their survival. These birds rely on dense forests for cover and prey, and with their natural habitats being destroyed, their populations decline.

Illegal hunting is also a threat to the Besra, as they are often captured and sold in the illegal wildlife trade. This activity is especially prevalent in parts of Southeast Asia, where these birds are considered a delicacy.

Despite these threats, the Besra is currently listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. However, their populations are declining, and conservation efforts must continue to protect these magnificent birds.

Unique Features and Fun Facts

Aside from their hunting skills and monogamous behavior, the Besra possesses several other unique features that make them stand out from other birds of prey. Their long tail and short wings allow them to navigate through the dense forest canopies with ease, making them well-suited for their habitat.

Interestingly, their scientific name, Accipiter virgatus, is derived from the Latin words "virga," meaning "rod," and "tus," meaning "bearing." This name refers to the Besra's long and slender tail, resembling a stick or rod.

The Besra is also known for its impressive hunting skills, which is why it has earned the nickname "Little Goshawk." These birds use their agility, speed, and sharp talons to capture prey, often stunning onlookers with their swift and precise movements.

Hive Characteristics and Lifespan

Besras are mostly solitary birds, but they do have social structures when building their nests. They often build their nests on tree branches, using sticks to form a sturdy structure. The inside of the nest is then lined with leaves, providing a cozy and safe space for their young to hatch and grow.

In the wild, Besras can live up to 12 years. However, in captivity, they have been known to live for up to 20 years, with proper care and environment.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Besra may be a small bird, but it is filled with fascinating and unique characteristics that make it a formidable predator and worthy of admiration. From its swift and agile hunting skills to its monogamous behavior, these birds have much to offer in the world of avian diversity.

However, as with many other species of birds, the Besra faces several threats to its survival, and conservation efforts must continue to protect its populations. Only by raising awareness and taking action can we ensure that these awe-inspiring birds remain a part of our natural world for generations to come.

Accipiter virgatus

The Majestic Besra: A Stunning Bird of Prey from Southeast Asia

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