Thursday, 4 August 2016

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)

Adult Brahminy Kite (subspecies H. i. intermedius) over Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

OTHER NAMES: Red-backed Sea-Eagle
Local Name (Malay): Helang Merah ("Red Eagle")
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 - Widespread in low densities.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Usually one or two seen daily, including in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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