Landing a Brahminy Kite in the Andaman

on 18th October 2006

Stephen Lau and his fishing buddies were in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands some four years ago. This is a great fishing safari destination and they were there to fish. But instead of the large sea water fish, they landed a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus). Stephen recounts the incident:

“There were three of us in a dingy and we were successfully catching fish using a technique called popping i.e. using our casting rod and a lure (a popper) which makes a popping sound when it is dragged at intermittent speed over the surface of the water. The lure’s motion is a series of short hops and as it dives forward, its concaved front end emits a pop sound. We were catching 1.5-2.0 kg groupers at every cast on the surface of a coral reef at depths of around 5-7 m.

“A Brahminy Kite suddenly swooped down and picked up the lure with both feet and as it made it’s get-away one of it’s foot was hooked up by one of the three triple hooks on the lure.

“As it was unable to release the lure we had no choice but to start reeling it down towards us whilst it was airborne. Finally it settled down into the water with it3 wings outstretched and we reeled it sufficiently close to catch hold of its foot and the lure to perform the unhooking.

“It was strange. It never struggled throughout the whole operation. Once freed it sat in the water for a short while before lifting itself off and flying to the nearest tree. There, standing on one leg, it continued looking at us.”

Stephen Lau
October 2006
(KC Tsang confirmed the identification of the kite)

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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