Brahminy Kite

Scientific Name: Haliastur indus

Malay Name: Helang-Tembikar Merah

Chinese Name: 栗鸢

Range: Resident from the Indian subcontinent through southeast Asia to north and east Australia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: indus, intermedius, girrenera, flavirostris.

Local Subspecies: intermedius

Size: 44-52 cm

Identification: Adult superficially resembles the globally famous Bald Eagle with bright rufous underparts, with white head and belly. Juveniles have variably brownish underparts depending on age. In flight easily identified by their "m" shaped wings when soaring. The similar looking Black Kite has a distinct square cut tail and a distinct small white flash on the base of the primary coverts.

Similar looking species: Black Kite

Habitat: Coastal areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on fish but also a scavenger. Has a rather funny sounding call, sounding like a whining baby.

Local Status: Very common resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Found throughout Singapore, often but not restricted to coastal area and sites near waterbodies.


BirdLife International. (2016). Haliastur indus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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