Brahminy Kite at Sungei Serangoon

The Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) is a common bird of prey that is widely distributed in the South Asia, South-east Asia and Australia. The subspecies in the Malay Peninsular and Singapore is intermedius.

In Singapore, they are found in all habitat except forest, and especially common in coastal areas. One of the easier area to see them is Sungei Serangoon.

Because of their abundance, most bird photographers have no problem taking close photos of the species and take no further notice of it. Most photos taken, including mine are mainly of the bird in flight seen from below, with nice blue skies if possible.

On a sunny morning in November 2013, I brought my daughter along for a nature stroll at Lorong Halus. As we walked to the bridge across Sungei Serangoon (Serangoon River), we spotted an adult kite flying around the river. Having lugged along my camera and lens, I thought it’ll be a good opportunity to take some shots of it. I mainly wanted to get some unusual angles and background.

Brahminy Kite
A bird flying upwards after a failed fishing attempt. I chose to position myself to see it fly in front the green foliage next to the river. Technically the background is considered busy so the autofocus must be set on a smaller area to avoid misfocus.


Brahminy Kite
Another view 2 frames later. The bird has flapped its wings and is back at the same pose again and flown closer. The background while still foliage has a different feel. While we can choose to shoot for a green background, it is pure luck what sort of green appears.


Brahminy Kite
This time the bird is flying towards us. Not the best pose, but an unusual one that is seldom taken, as the bird has to be flying relatively low.


Brahminy Kite
Next, I wanted and got a series of shots of it in a hunting pose. The background is the river. I have chosen to crop it at 3:4 ratio rather than the normal 2:3 ratio as the composition seems better. Not something I do often but in this case, seems appropriate.


Brahminy Kite
The next frame showing a different pose. Which is a better pose is entirely subjective.


Brahminy Kite
Another hunt, but with a different angle, showing it’s predominantly reddish back. In fact in Australia, it is called the Red-backed Sea Eagle.


Brahminy Kite
All of its attempts to hunt in the 10 minutes or so were unsuccessful. I thought of not posting this, as the water background is distracting. But it seems unusual to write about a bird hunting without showing evidence of the actual hunt.


Brahminy KIte
Just to provide a better ending, here’s an adult successfully catching what appears to be a Giant Gourami fish at Lorong Halus, with the warm glow of the morning sun illuminating it. Of course this was in October 2012, but it does show the bird is capable of hunting, given enough chances.

Photo Gallery:


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