Brahminy Kites at Tallebudgera

4 Mar 2012 4:57 PMSusan Guthrie
Brahminy Kites at Tallebudgera

I first encountered the beautiful brahminy while walking around the ocean view track at Burleigh National Park around five years ago. One glimpse of their striking chestnut body, white head and chest with black wing tips had me wanting more.


Over time I continued to see them gliding down the creek and around the headland taking advantage of the updrafts and circling over the headland for a while before returning down the creek again.


Sometimes they would land in the Hoop Pines near the lower lookout for a while and take off in the sea breezes. It was there that I found them in May last year after walking around the headland track from Tallebudgera Creek. After watching the pair for some time and taking a few shots, I was just starting back when a third kite came around the headland.  The pair lifted out of their pine and the three of them circled the cove.



I pointed them out to a bloke walking the other way (Jason Muir) who stopped and chatted for a while. It turned out that Jason was a local film maker and we decided to make a short video of the kites. I spent the next five weekends scouring the mangroves and floodplains along the creek and finally found them finishing (or refurbishing) a nest close by to an old osprey nest.


Jason and I captured footage over two days from the other side of the creek and I was fortunate enough to watch them mating several times. Although the whole act takes around 10-15 Seconds, I managed to capture some of it on two occasions.



While filming, four crows began ganging up on the female kite, but they suddenly flew away.  Just as I turned the camera off, the male kite swooped in landing straight on the female. I could have kicked myself.


Within two weeks of filming, the crows, natural enemies of the kites, had chased the kites out of the nest so they tried to build another near Fleay’s car park further up the creek.  Unfortunately it was too late in the season and no new offspring were born. The crows didn’t have a complete win as a pair of ibises soon moved into the nest.


There are several pairs of kites over the border at Fingal and Pottsville and I have seen others flying over the golf course at Mudgeeraba several times and also at the mangroves near Helensvale.


Watch our new video of the wonderful Brahminy Kites at Tallebudgera Creek





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