Brahminy Kite (species: Haliastur indus) in taxonomy (Gaia Guide)
Haliastur indus
Brahminy Kite

©Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin: Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

©Challiyan: Subadult Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

©Marj Kibby: Brahminy Kite
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Haliastur
Species Haliastur indus
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

The Brahminy Kite is a medium-sized raptor. As an adult, it has a white head, breast and tail tip, while the rest of the body is chestnut brown in colour. The very tip of its tail is white. The wings are broad and have with dark wing tips that spread out like fingers. The tail is short. The legs are short and free of feathers. The eye is dark and the lemon yellow coloured bill is strongly hooked.


  • From 48 cm to 51 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Females
  • From 45 cm to 49 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Males


  • From 109 cm to 124 cm


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution


The Brahminy Kite glides on level wings along shorelines and mudflats.


It is primarily a scavenger, feeding mainly on dead fish and crabs, especially in wetlands and marshland but occasionally hunts live prey such as hares and bats.

It may also indulge in kleptoparasitism and attempt to steal prey from other birds. (Wikipedia)

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