Brahminy Kite

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Red-backed Sea Eagle

Native Habitat

Coasts, Wetland, Forests, Riverside


Fish, Frogs, Snakes, Bats


Brahminy Kite

Haliastur indus

The Brahmany Kite is a familiar sight in the skies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and southeast Asia and as far south as New South Wales, Australia, through which region it is widespread and resident.

It has a typical kite flight, with wings angled, but its tail is rounded unlike the Milvus species, Red Kite and Black Kite, which have forked tails. The Brahminy Kite is an attractive bird, with chestnut plumage except for the white head and breast and black wing tips.

The juveniles are browner, but can be distinguished from both the resident and migratory races of Black Kite in Asia by the paler appearance, shorter wings and rounded tail. This species nests in trees, often close to water. It feeds as a scavenger, particularly on dead fish and crabs, especially in wetlands and marshland. The call is a mewing keeyew. Brahmany Kite is the official mascot of Jakarta.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    শঙ্খ চিল
  • Gujarati:
    બ્રાહ્મણી ચીલ, ભગવી સમડી
  • Hindi:
    ब्राह्मणी चील, धोबिया चील, खेमकरनी, रु मुबारक
  • Kannada:
    ಬಿಳಿ ಗರುಡ
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    सागरी घार, ब्राह्मणी घार
  • Nepali:
    सेतोटाउके चील
  • Sanskrit:
    खकामिनी, क्षेमंकारी, लोहपृष्ठ
  • Tamil:
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