The Shikra is related to the European Sparrowhawk. It is native to much of Asia
(from the Near East through Central Asia to South and Southeast Asia),
with a subspecies or separate related species (the Little Banded Goshawk) throughout Africa.
The female is larger with a brown back and brown banding similar to a female Sparrowhawk.
The male, shown, is similar to a male Sparrowhawk with much paler silver-grey back/wings, lighter russet banding
on the front, and very light underwings. Plumage intensity varies a little by subspecies over its vast range.
That shown appears to be a juvenile male with yellow irises since the adult female has orange and
the adult male deep russet-red irises.
The Shikra's nest is built in a hole high up in the inaccessible rock face.
The top two rows of photos were taken by Alexandra Makhnina and the in-flight
photos by Elizabeth Barrett, both in southern Kazakhstan.