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, Shikra
Habitat: Open habitat, reclaimed land and offshore island.
Local Status: Rare migrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2021)
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Featured reports: Nov 2022
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (Besra)
BirdLife International. (2021). Accipiter virgatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22695588A154677901.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Lim, K. S. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Singapore Birds Project. (n.d.). Besra. Retrieved on May 30, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/besra.