Brahminy Kite

Haliastur indus




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

26 - 27

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Nests are built in a mangrove or coastal tree species and occasionally on the ground.

Nest Material:

Sticks and small branches


Most do not migrate



Brahminy Kite: Large, chestnut-colored raptor with white head and breast. Faint, fine streaks on crown, nape, and breast, and long, broad wings with black primaries. White-buff hooked, raptorial bill. Medium length tail with slightly rounded tip. Fairly short yellow legs and feet. Forages for fish, carrion, and small animals on beaches, at garbage dumps, over towns, and in harbors. Takes prey and carrion by snatching it from the surface of the water and feeding on the ground.

Breeding and Nesting

Brahminy Kite: Two blue-white eggs are laid in a large nest constructed with sticks and small branches. The nest is lined with leaves and built in a mangrove or other coastal tree species, and is occasionally placed on the ground. The female incubates the eggs for 26 to 27 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Brahminy Kite: Feeds on fish, crabs, carrion, and, on occasion, small animals. Forages by soaring or flying over towns, marshes, mangroves, bays, and other coastal habitats, and swooping down to carrion or crabs on the ground. It also takes fish from the surface of the water, and will catch small animals when the opportunity presents itself.


Brahminy Kite: Largely silent outside of breeding and nesting. Pairs give low-pitched, descending "kweeaah" calls. In flight and during antagonistic encounters, produces a harsh "peeee-yah."

Similar Species

Brahminy Kite: Black Kite is brown with no white on the body. Osprey has a brown eyeline and all-white underparts.

The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X