1802. Astur badius badius

(1802) Astur badius badius (Gmelin).
Astur badius badius, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. v, p. 147.
The Ceylon Shikra occurs in the South of Travancore as well as in Ceylon, and both Bourdillon and Stewart have obtained nests and eggs in that province.
There is nothing recorded in Hume’s 'Nests and Eggs’ on the breeding of the typical form of Shikra, but Legge says that it is strictly a forest bird and breeds in May and June.
Bourdillon, who took a nest with three eggs on the 25th February, 1908, and one with two eggs so long ago as the 5th March, 1876, says that in Travancore it is not a forest bird but that it “is common throughout Travancore in open country in the plains and it does not frequent forest. It builds a rough nest of sticks and twigs in trees and lays three or four eggs during the months January to April.” Stewart confirms this, and says that “they are very fond of breeding on para-trees in Rubber Estates, where they place their nests, built by themselves, at no great height from the ground.”
In Ceylon Phillips also found them making their nests on Rubber-trees and took a nest with three eggs on April 2nd.
From the above we can gather that the breeding season runs from the middle of January to the middle of April, and that the number of eggs laid varies from two to four.
The eggs are rather fine in texture with, for a Raptore’s egg, a smooth surface, though glossless.
In colour they are a very pale skim-milk blue, and all those I have seen have been quite unspotted, though a bigger series might show that shght spotting, of reddish or grey, does occur in a few cases, just as it docs with the other races.
Eighteen egga average 39.0 x 31.8 mm. : maxima 43.6 x 32.0 and 43.2 x 32.5 mm. ; minima 36.8 x 31.0 and 37.4 x 29.3 mm.
I believe both birds assist in building the nest, but there is nothing on record to show that the male assists in incubation. Both parents show great anxiety when their nest is being robbed, and some individual birds of both sexes will attack intruders again and again at such times.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1802. Astur badius badius
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Ceylon Shikra
Accipiter badius badius
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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