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The brahminy kite (Haliastur indus) – also known as Red-backed Kite, White-and-red Eagle Kite, or White-headed Kite – is a medium-sized raptor that is easily recognised by the white head and chest. The word Brahminy comes from the word Brahman – an member of a Hindi cultural and social elite. The Brahminy Kite is the official mascot of the capital and largest city of Indonesia - Jakarta. In many of the areas it inhabits the Brahminy Kite is thought to be a symbol of swift action, precision, elegance and efficiency. It is also said to be a guardian against the occurrence of misfortune. To the Iban of Malaysia, it is better known as the Bird-God of War - its presence is an omen to guide them in major decisions such as warfare and house building. Female is similar to male, but she is larger and heavier. The Brahminy Kite has keen view and can see its prey from a distance. It is able to lift live fish from the water, but most of time, it scavenges on beaches or takes debris from the water surface seizing them with its talons. It flushes shorebirds on mudflats into flight and pursues the weakest. It is attracted by fires in order to catch the escaped animals.
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