Birds – European Sparrow-hawk

(A. Nisus), which belongs to the same group as those just described, was once a common bird throughout the British Islands, but on account of its depredations on the game preserves has been greatly depleted in numbers. It is widely distributed over Europe, northern Asia, and the Indian peninsula, and is abundant in India, where, as in other parts of its range, it is tamed and taught to take Partridges, Sand Grouse, and other similar birds. Another Indian species, known as the Besra Sparrow-Hawk (A. Virgatus), has the breast and flanks so suffused with rusty as to nearly or quite conceal the bars. It is also used in hawking, and is regarded by the native falconers as superior in speed, courage, and endurance to the last-mentioned species.