A medium-sized raptor with a rounded tail unlike other kites. Adults are unmistakable with a white head and breast contrasting with otherwise brick brown plumage. Juveniles are a darker brownish-black with a paler head and prominent white patches under the wings. Usually associated with both inland and coastal wetlands in tropical Asia, but it is largely restricted to coastal wetlands in Australia where it is alternately known as “Red-backed Sea Eagle.” Call is a distinctive nasal, drawn out, “Kyeeerrh.”
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Portrait by Gary Thomas © Whozart Portraits