The Brahminy Kite derives its name from the Brahmin caste of India, where in certain systems of belief, the bird is held sacred. Also called the Red Backed Sea Eagle (a misnomer, since it is not an eagle but a kite) the Brahminy may be found in coastal areas from northern Australia throughout New Guinea Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and up to India and southern China.
An inhabitant of mangroves and river deltas, the Brahminy kite is both a scavenger and hunter of fish, frogs, crabs and snakes. It will also take small animals and insects, the latter of which it catches in midair. The Brahminy Kite hunts by soaring in a quartering pattern at low altitude (up to fifty metres) to search out its food.
|Original photograph courtesy of Ms Yvonne Sitko|