An opportunistic scavenger, the Brahminy kite has a varied diet that differs considerably from one population to another (3). Although it often feeds on offal and food waste from boats and rubbish tips, as well as other forms of carrion, it also hunts for live food including crabs, crustaceans, amphibians, small reptiles, fish, insects, small mammals and birds. Usually it forages by soaring low above the ground or over water, but will also hunt from a waterside perch and will occasionally forage on the ground (3) (5).
The Brahminy kite is normally seen alone, in pairs or occasionally in small family groups, but rarely in the large flocks formed by some kite species (5). The timing of the breeding season differs across its range, with populations on the equator being most variable (3). Breeding pairs build an untidy nest from 2 to 30 metres above the ground usually in a prominent fork of a tall tree. The nests, which are made from sticks, grass, seaweed, flotsam and other rubbish, are reused in successive years (3) (5). The female lays one to three eggs, which are incubated for 28 to 35 days before hatching. The young fledge after 40 to 56 days but remain dependant on the parents for a further two months (3).