Thursday, 4 August 2016

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

OTHER NAMES: Red-backed Sea-Eagle
Latin Etymology: Haliastur ("sea-hawk") indus ("Indian")
Adult Brahminy Kite (subspecies H. i. intermedius) over Sungei Buloh, Singapore - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Haliastur indus intermedius
Weight: 320-670g  /  Length: 43-51cm  /  Wingspan: 109-124cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Brahminy Kite is the most common widespread raptor in Malaysia, at least in terms of the one most likely to be seen in urban areas, however, it is distinctly less common than the Kites of Europe and Japan - usually only one or two seen distantly compared to the common presence of Black Kite in Spain and Japan or Red Kite in the UK.  This is in part due to the fact it is more a coastal bird, than the above.  It is also a distinctive looking bird, but lacks the forked tail of the more familiar northerly species.  It is also a species with considerable cultural associations - it is considered the representative of Garuda in Hinduism as well as featuring in the mythology of several places in the region.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Haliastur
SUBSPECIES: H. i. indus, H. i. flavirostris, H. i. girrenera, H. i. intermedius

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - Malay - Helang Merah ("Red Eagle")
Widespread in low densities.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Usually one or two seen daily, including in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca
SINGAPORE - A reasonably common resident.
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: Several over Sungei Buloh

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-canto

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