Brahmani kites are found all over Asia. They are medium sized raptors and although they’ll catch fish, they are quite happy to take carrion from the beach. There are a number of pairs around our beach at Hervey Bay but the ones I encounter most often range between Torquay and Tooan Tooan Creek. During nesting season they use a nest I’ve never seen, hidden away in thick fir trees above the beach. I know it’s there because the adults guard it and I’ve heard the sharp whistles from chicks demanding food.
They’re a beautiful bird with a white head and chest, and cinnamon back. The undersides of the wings are gorgeous variations of brown.
When we first moved up to Hervey Bay I would see the kites often on the enormous sandbar that’s visible at low tide where Tooan Tooan Creek flows into the sea. They would find a piece of driftwood to use as a perch.
Although they’ll take carrion, they do fish. This one guarded his sea snake and flew away with his catch when I came too close.
There’s a story to this next shot. We walked up the beach around the area where we knew the kites had their nest. Pete saw the adult bird returning to the nest and warned me. I got one shot off – and the camera battery died. Fortunately, it’s a great shot.
The kites are always in pairs and the pair bond is strong. Another favourite place for these birds is the line of rocks, visible at half tide and lower, about halfway down the beach. I got a couple of great pictures of them there.
A young Brahmani kite looks very different to the adult bird – no doubt for camouflage reasons. Here’s a young bird practising flying on his way back to the nest – hotly pursued by a blue-faced honeyeater.
You can really see the difference when adult and bub are side by side.
They’re beautiful birds. I love to watch them, whatever they do.
Great photos and narrative. You live in a great spot
We do indeed, Mike. Thanks for your comment.