Accipiter virgatus, Reinw.
25. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 52; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 445; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 56 ; Hume's Scrap Book, p. 132.
THE JUNGLE SPARROW HAWK.
Length, 11; wing, 6.75; tail, 5 ; tarsus, 2 ; weight, 5 1/4 ozs.
Length, 14.5; wing, 8.5 ; tail, 6.5 ; tarsus, 2.25 ; weight, 7 ozs.
Irides pale yellow; cere pale lemon-yellow; legs and feet pale greenish-yellow. The young bird is dark brown, above the feathers edged paler and rufous, tinged with dusky on the cheeks and ears; tail light brown, with dark bars ; beneath white, with a mesial throat stripe, and brown oval drops on the breast and abdomen, most numerous in the female.
The adult bird has the plumage above deep glossy olive-brown, with a blackish or slaty tint; the head and neck dusky-black ; ears and face light dusky; the tail light greyish, with four dark bands on the centre tail-feathers, and six on the outer ones ; throat white, with a mesial blackish stripe, and a few streaks of the same ; the rest of the lower parts white, very closely banded with bright ferruginous-brown, mixed with dusky-brown ; under tail-coverts pure white. With increasing age the brown of the upper parts become dark slaty-blackish on the head, and light on the tail, and the transverse bands of the breast tend to coalesce, and the lower belly to become whiter. In the female, after the first moult, the breast is marked with oval light yellow-brown drops, and the abdomen with broadish bars. The adult male differs from the female in being more grey on the upper parts; in the breast and flanks being almost ferruginous, and in the bands on the lower belly and thigh-coverts being fewer and lighter in tint.
The Besra has only been recorded from the Deccan and Central India. In both it only occurs as a rather rare winter visitant.