Brahminy Kite eating on the wing

on 20th March 2008


Myron Tay was at Changi recently when he noticed a couple of Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) flying above (above left). On zooming in with his camers, he noticed one of the kites had a prey firmly clutched in its talons. What interested Myron was that the bird was taking bites off the prey from time to time (above right).

The food of the Brahminy Kite includes fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals and even insects. According to Ferguson-Lees & Christie (2001), small preys may be eaten on the wing. Wells (1999) thinks that eating while in flight helps to reduce losses to other birds.

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) has also been reported to eat on the wing

Image of Brahminy Kite (top left) by John Arifin.

1. Ferguson-Lees, J. & Christie, D. A. (2001). Raptors of the world. London: Christopher Helm.
2. Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London.

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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