In their young days the two brothers Sampati and Jatayu dwelt among the crags of Himalaya. The two brothers got involved in contest that to reach the sun first. Sampati flew ahead and burnt his wings. But when noon came, and the fierce sun looked straight on them, Jatayu fainted and tumbled through the air head foremost. Then full of love and pity for his brother Sampati spread his large wings between him and the cruel sun and the hot beams of the sun rays withered his wings. In pain Sampati fell on the summit of Mount Vindhya. Here wounded Sampati was found by Hanuman and Angada, when they were searching for lost Sita.
In the epic Ramayana, Sampati is mentioned as very helpful to Rama in search of Sita. His role comes when the search party sent to the south, Led by Angad with Hanuman and Jambhuvan, exhausted, thirsty and depressed, reach to the southern end of the land. They have to cross the never-ending sea but still they had no evidence of Sita. Exhausted and dissatisfied, everybody in search of Sita collapses on the sand. All of a sudden, they all hear a voice which says that it will serve with food to the people. They also heard somebody saying; "I shall be ever grateful to God for having such delicious meal walk to my doorsteps all by itself". Everyone who was in search of Sita looks forward in the direction of the voice, and sees a huge vulture progressing towards them slowly, saying these words. At that moment, Jambhuvan says that the vulture Jatayu gave his life in saving Sita from the clutches of Ravana. But this vulture in contrary wants to eat the exhausted army.
The vulture was Sampati and is very disheartened as soon as he heard the word 'Jatayu'. Sampati after hearing the news of the death of his brother, his throat choked. He informed Jambhuvan and Hanuman and others that Jatayu was my brother. It has been ages since Sampati have heard of any news from him. He was grateful to Jambhuvan as he had informed him of his brother and in return informed Jambhuvan and Hanuman about Sita.
Each and everyone in search of Sita were very curious and jumped as soon as Sampati said this. They listened with utmost concentration, as Sampati continued. He narrated to them that some days ago, Sampati had seen Ravana flying in his Pushpaka, landing at Lanka with a beautiful lady with him, forcibly being taken into Lanka and banished in one of the Vatikas. The beautiful lady was Sita.
Sampati further informed that he sees Sita everyday sitting beneath that tree in that vatika - distraught, waiting for someone. Sampati was a descendant of Garuda and was blessed with very superior vision.