As a South African there is nothing more beautiful to hear than the call of an African fish eagle soaring through the sky or perched close to the waters edge. The African Fish Eagle has two distinct calls, so well known and clear is the call of this bird that it is often known as “the voice ofAfrica”.
Although, as its name suggests, it feeds extensively on fish, but in some areas it preys on different water birds. It is also known to eat carrion (rotting animal flesh) and is classified as a kleptoparasite (it steals prey from other birds). Most people don’t know that the fish eagle is related to the North American Bald Eagle.
The African Fish Eagle is usually seen in pairs, whether it is inside or outside of their breeding season that stretches from March to September. Hunting takes place from where the eagle is perched and rarely whiles it is soaring in the sky. Stooping at fish, African Fish Eagle will catch their pray with their feet, usually within 15 cm of the water surface. They may also submerge at times. They evenly share the kills made by either between the two of them.
The immature African Fish Eagle which is generally dark brown with white mottling will take up to four to five years and numerous moults to reach full maturity.
Story by: Wayne Lubbe-Kapama River Lodge