The beach’s Brahmani kites

posted in: Life and things, Photography | 2

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.

Dad guarding the nest

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.

Perched on a branch

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.

It’s MY sea snake

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.

A Brahmani Kite approaches its nest with a fish in its talons

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 pair of Brahmani kites perched on rocks
A Brahmani kite joins its mate on a rock

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.

Young bird being harassed by a blue-faced honeyeater
Landing on rocks

You can really see the difference when adult and bub are side by side.

Brahmani kite
Adult and junior

They’re beautiful birds. I love to watch them, whatever they do.

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