Besra

Scientific Name: Accipiter virgatus
Malay Name: Helang-Sewah Gunung Asia
Chinese Name: 松雀鹰

Range:
Found from the Indian subcontinent to southern China, Indochina, Philippines and discontinuously to the Greater Sundas, Bali and Flores with some northern populations wintering south to southern India and Southeast Asia

Taxonomy:
Polytypic. Subspecies are: affinis, fuscipectus, besra, vanbemmeli, rufotibialis, virgatus, quinquefasciatus, abdulalii, confusus, quagga.

Size: 26-32 cm

Identification:
Both sexes and juvenile resemble Japanese Sparrowhawk but has more prominent dark mesial streak and even-width dark and pale tail-bands. Male can be separated from Japanese Sparrowhawk by darker upperparts, blackish breast-streaks and broader rufous-chestnut bars on underparts. Female and juvenile is very similar to juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk but has blacker breast-streaks and bars on underparts (resembling adult Crested Goshawk).

Similar looking species: Crested Goshawk, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk

Habitat: Open habitat, reclaimed land and offshore island.

Behaviour/Ecology:

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: First record for Singapore was a female ringed at Tuas on November 1995. Recent confirmed records were a juvenile photographed at Changi Grassland on November and December 2012, a female at Tuas South on October 2013, a juvenile again at Tuas South on November 2013 and a female at Sisters’ Islands on November 2015.

Photos:

External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

References:
BirdLife International. (2016). Accipiter virgatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Lim, K. S., Chia, A., Yong, D. L., & Chew, J. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.