Brahminy Kite

A Brahminy Kite perched in a dead tree with green leaves in the background

What does it look and sound like? This beautiful chestnut and white raptor is the unmistakable Brahminy Kite. It is easily recognized by its head, neck and breast and contrasting chestnut belly and upperparts. First-year birds resemble Whistling Kites, but lack pale wedges on the underwing, and have a shorter tail. The call is a drawn-out ‘pee-ah-ah-ah’ or ‘ kee-e-yah’.

Where does it live? Found in northern Australia, from about Carnarvon, Western Australia to Hastings River, New South Wales.

What are its habitats and habits? The Brahminy Kite is solitary and pairs only during the breeding season. It inhabits coastal areas, where it feeds on fish and other marine animals, normally stranded or washed up by the tide. 

Scientific name: Haliastur indus

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store