Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus Scientific name definitions

Stephen Debus, Tim S. David, Jeffrey S. Marks, and Guy M. Kirwan
Version: 1.2 — Published October 1, 2021

Diet and Foraging

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Main Foods Taken

Small vertebrates, carrion, arthropods, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Food Capture and Consumption

Forages by quartering and high soaring, or still hunting from prominent perch; sometimes searches on ground. Seizes prey by glide or dive that may become short chase; hawks flying insects, snatches prey from tree canopy and water surface  , and robs other predators. Sometimes consumes prey in flight (29). Recorded fishing in association with Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) in the Mekong River (northeastern Cambodia), wherein single birds circled slowly above feeding dolphins and swooped down in apparent attempts (all unsuccessful) to capture fish driven to the water surface by the cetaceans (30).


Major Food Items

Variety of small animals and carrion  , including mammals  , birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish  , arthropods, crustaceans (31), shellfish, cuttlefish, road-killed vertebrates, large carcasses, and offal; sometimes domestic poultry.

Recommended Citation

Debus, S., T. S. David, J. S. Marks, and G. M. Kirwan (2021). Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), version 1.2. In Birds of the World (P. Pyle, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.brakit1.01.2