Brahminy Kite eating on the wing

posted in: Feeding strategy | 1

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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.

References:
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.

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