The Brahminy Kite is in abundance in Bengaluru and Mysore. But it was lovely for us from Maharashtra, who are so used to the usual Black Kite, to watch it. Also known as the Red-backed Sea-eagle in Australia, it is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards and harriers. This same bird, in Indian folklore, is well know as the Garuda.
Some more interesting tidbits: Known as Elang Bondol in Indonesia, the Brahminy Kite is the official mascot of Jakarta. And in Malaysia, the island of Langkawi is named after the bird (‘kawi’ denoting an ochre-like stone used to decorate pottery, and a reference to the bird’s primary plumage colour).
©2012 Rahul Jauhari. All rights reserved.