(1804) Astur badius cenchroides.
SEVERTZOF'S OR THIS SIND SHIKRA.
Astur cenchroides Severtzof, Turkestan Jevotn., p, 63 (1873) (Turkestan). Astur badius. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 398 (part.).
Vernacular names. Shikra , Chipka (Hind.).
Description. Decidedly larger and paler in every stage of plumage. In the fully adult the plumage is more brown, less grey than in either of the two preceding races ; the barring below is sometimes rather paler and almost invariably extends on to the vent and thigh-coverts.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding races.
Measurements. Wing, 177 to 196, nearly always over 185 mm., 209 to 221 mm.
Distribution. Turkestan, Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Eastern Persia, Sind and extreme North-West Frontier Provinces; in Winter extending into the Punjab.
Nidification. The Sind Shikra breeds in March and April, making its nest, according to Ticehurst, on trees in " thickish jungle " but according to Bulkley and others mostly in groves and sometimes on single trees. Nests and eggs are like those of the other races. Sixteen eggs average 39.0 x 30.2 mm.: maxima 41.2 x 31.2 and 40.7 x 31.3 mm.; minima 36.8 X 29.5 and 38.1 x 29.1 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus, except that it is found in hotter, drier areas. Even in Sind, however, this Shikra seems to keep to the better-watered areas of canal, river or swamp, where there are ample trees for nesting and roosting purposes.