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Nicobar Sparrowhawk
Accipiter butleri

Status: Vulnerable

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Car Nicobar Shikra, Katchall Shikra, Nicobar Shikra.

Accipiter butleri
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Distribution: Indomalayan. Endemic to the NICOBAR ISLANDS (Car Nicobar, Katchall, and possibly other islands).

Subspecies: 2 races. A. b. butleri: NICOBAR ISLANDS (Car Nicobar); A. b. obsoletus: NICOBAR ISLANDS (Katchall).

Taxonomy: Forms a superspecies with A. badius and A. brevipes. Possibly conspecific with A. badius (Brown and Amadon 1968, Amadon and Bull 1988) but see Wattel (1973) and Mees (1981), who noted differences in plumages, morphology, and habitat choice between the two.

Movements: Non-migratory (Bildstein and Zalles 2005).

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in forested habitats.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds chiefly on lizards and insects, according to Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001).

Breeding: The only recorded nest, just completed, was ca. 12 m high at the end of a horzzontal branch of a Ficus tree (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). There is no information on clutch size, or incubation and nestling periods.

Conservation: Butchart et al. (2005) noted that specimens from Great Nicobar and Camora have recently proved to be misidentified examples of the Besra (Accipiter virgatus), throwing into doubt sightings from those islands and other nearby ones. Categorized as Vulnerable by BirdLife International (2008), based on the lack of recent sightings and ongoing habitat destruction on the islands However, there are no population estimates, and the actual status of this species urgently needs to be investigated.

Important References: 
Ali, S., and S.D. Ripley. 1978. Handbook of the birds of India and
  Pakistan. Vol. 1. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, Delhi, India.
BirdLife International. 2000. Threatened birds of the world. Lynx Edicions
  and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
BirdLife International. 2008. Species factsheet: Accipiter butleri.
  Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/8/2008.
Butchart, S.H.M, N.J. Collar, M.J. Crosby, and J.A. Tobias. 2005. "Lost"
  and poorly known birds: top targets for birders in Asia. BirdingASIA
Butler, A.L. 1899. The birds of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Journal of
  the Bombay Natural History Sociewty 12:684-690.
Clark, W.S. 1994. Nicobar Sparrowhawk. Pp. 146-147 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Mees, G.F. 1981. The sparrow hawks (Accipiter) of the Andaman Islands.
  Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 77:371-412.
Naoroji, R. 2006. Birds of prey of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher
  Helm, A & C Black Publishers Ltd., London.
Rasmussen, P.C. 2000. On the status of the Nicobar Sparrowhawk Accipiter
on Great Nicobar Island, India. Forktail 16:185-186.
Rasmussen, P.C., and J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: the Ripley
  guide. Vols. 1-2. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions, Washington,
  D.C. and Barcelona, Spain.
Richmond, G.W. 1903. Birds collected by Dr. W.L. Abbott and Mr. C.B. Kloss
  in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum
Tikader, B.K. 1988. Birds of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Zoological
  Survey of India, Calcutta, India.
Wattel, J. 1973. Geographical differentiation in the genus Accipiter.
  Nuttall Ornithological Club Publication no. 13.

Sites of Interest:
BirdLife International
Information on current status and recommended conservation actions.
Red Data Book Threatened Birds of Asia
Detailed information on status, threats, and proposed conservation actions.

Last modified: 5/15/2014

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Nicobar Sparrowhawk Accipiter butleri. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 23 Jan. 2022

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