Shikra (Accipiter badius) with a fresh kill of a white breasted waterhen   2 comments

Shikra (Accipiter badius) with a fresh kill of a white breasted waterhen

The drama unfolded right in front of my eyes. The Shikra got its prey but did not quite appreciate my presence on the water edge at that time. It desperately tried to fly away with its meal but the waterhen was too heavy for that and it had no plans of abandoning its kill.

So there was a stalemate and the usually shy Shikra stood its ground and kept staring at me. After clicking a few shots I retreated and left it to enjoy its meal in peace.

Note the fine balancing act that the Shikra is performing – it’s right wing is spread open and is providing the thrust required to balance the weight of the waterhen on the slanting branch on which it is perched. It’s right leg is like a fulcrum with counterbalancing forces on its left leg and right wing. I wish my school physics text books had similar illustrations to drive home the concept of force and torque 🙂

On a different note, Shikras are small birds of prey and are quite common in India. They are true hawks and use stealth and speed to capture their prey. They derive their names from a Hindi word called ” Shikari ” – which means a hunter. The waterhen on the other hand is a water bird that is usually seen foraging near water bodies. Like the Shikra, White breasted Waterhens are also classified by IUCN under the “least concern” category.

2 responses to “Shikra (Accipiter badius) with a fresh kill of a white breasted waterhen

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  1. Amazing catch,for both,you & the Shikra!

    • Thanks for the kind words. This catch definitely made my day. After an eventful day of birding, I was on my way back and the light was fading and as luck would have it I end up seeing this scene.

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