Capricorn Coast Birds
   
     
 
  Brahminy Kite
Haliastur indus
Average size 50cm
 
 
Brahminy Kites can be seen on almost any day here, though not our most numerous raptor they are the easiest to find because every suitable territory has its breeding pair, they even commonly breed in residential parks. I took these photos at Kemp Beach near Bluff Point National Park where a pair are nesting in a Hoop Pine beside the Scenic Highway.
 
     
     
 
One of the kites on the lookout for prey in the beach scrub behind Kemp Beach, beach scrub is a dense scrub growing on older dunes behind the foreshore and is one of my favourite photographic habitats because of the number of birds it harbours.
 
     
     
 
An adult hunting over the scrub, Brahminy Kites are more scavengers than hunters, mostly feeding on dead fish and other carrion, but they also hunt for small prey such as fish, crabs, shellfish, frogs, rodents, reptiles and even insects.
 
     
   
 
The young Brahminy above is in its first year plumage, though similar to young Whistling Kites the short, rounded and broad tail is a distinguishing feature, this young bird was hunting with its parent in the photo above.
 
   
  Some general information on Brahminy Kites  
 

These are a medium-sized raptor widespread across northern Australia from Western Australia to northern New South Wales, they are more common in the north of their range and are also widespread throughout tropical Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are found mainly on coastal and inland wetlands, particularly mangrove swamps and estuaries with broad mudflats but are also sometimes seen over forests and along rivers.
They are more scavengers than hunters, mostly feeding on dead fish and other carrion, but they also hunt for small prey such as fish, crabs, shellfish, frogs, rodents, reptiles and even insects. They forage both over water and land, soaring 20-50m above the surface and, being scavengers, benefit from waste at tips, on roadsides and in harbours.
Males and females are similar and prefer to nest in tall emergent trees in mangroves, the nest is large and made from sticks, seaweed or driftwood and lined with a variety of materials such as lichens, bones, seaweed and even paper. They show considerable site fidelity and nest in the same area year after year. Both parents incubate the eggs and the young are fed bill to bill with small pieces of food.

 
 
     
  more birds of prey