The Brahminy Kite is one of the medium-sized raptors with a white head and breast. The rest of of is body is striking chestnut brown. The wings are broad with dark ‘fingered’ wing tips and tail is short. Brahminy kite feed on carrion, insects and fish and they have around 30 years of lifespan.
The nest of Brahminy Kite is build in living trees near water often mangrove trees. Both parents incubate the eggs and the average clutch consists of 1 to 3 dull white or bluish-white egg which are incubated for 26-35 days before hatching. The young are fed bill to bill with small pieces of food. They become reproductive maturity and are ready to breed at two years of age.
Langkawi is believed to have originated from the abundance of Brahminy Kites (Helang) on the island and Kawi (marble in Sanskrit) begets the moniker helang-kawi which eventually toned down to Langkawi. Another interesting fact about Brahminy Kite is that the immature birds have been observed in playful behavior such as dropping leaves and attempting to catch them in the air. Brahminy Kites gather in communal roosts that may sometimes number as many as 600 individuals.