African Fish Eagle

in animalphotography •  2 months ago

Shrill call of an African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus Vocifer) indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa is one you will never forget, dubbed the Call of Africa.

African Fish Eagle

Locally these majestic big birds reside along river banks, throughout our provinces water arteries.

A distinctive call, sending shivers down your spine, or one that leads you into day dreaming of being on massive waterways up in the African bush. Other places we have sighted these majestic birds, or heard their call was in Zimbabwe and in the Kruger National Park.

African Fish Eagle - Mafia of the sky with a wingspan of almost two and a half meters, (females larger than males) with specialized toes with coated sharp barbs to help grasp slippery customers like fish firmly. Apparently they spend minimal time actually hunting about 10 minutes per day, no wonder we hear them yodeling on high quite frequently!

This bird is known to steal prey from other species, Goliath Herons are known to lose a percentage of their catch to the African Fish Eagle (Goliath Heron is not a small bird either, as is evident in the photo below).

What else is on the menu other than fish which makes up 90% of their food, with a preference to fresh they also eat terrapins, baby crocodiles, ducks, frogs, other young birds and will eat carrion from time to time.

Goliath Heron Bird of South Africa

The birds we have seen varied with equisite black, white and brown, some along our river bank more chestnut-brown in colouring making them a lovely bird to photograph on wing or perched up high in trees, from a lofty lookout point over the area they hunt and nest in.

Depending on availability of food their territory will be larger or smaller.

Early mornings are when we normally hear them (I believe their call sounding is something like the American Bald Eagle), settling into tall trees by mid-morning. We have heard a pair of them later in the day, normally if the wind is up and they riding thermals, calling to each other.

What I did not realize is they are closer relatives of sea gulls than to the eagle family, something to remember when we look up to the skies and learn more about African Fish Eagles.

African Fish Eagle

Sound of African Fish Eagle Source YouTube -

All photography is my own (please ask permission before you use any of my photography) Photography taken with Canon EOS 500D

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I was always wondering how to make such photos? Photographing of wild animals is so hard


Patience is the name of the game normally @tananda thanks for visiting

Beautiful photographs and a great write-up! I'm not familiar with this bird (never having been to Africa), so it was nice learning something new! The video was also much appreciated so we could hear their call! Thanks for sharing with #steemitbloggers

Appreciate you visiting @thekittygirl nature in any region of the world is exciting to learn more about.

We are so blessed with the wonderful birds that we have in our country.


Wondering around always delightful to hear them, we are treated to some very special bird life @gholsa

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That eagle looks majestic!

The Call of Africa indeed! Such a majestic bird with an equally magnificent call. I miss living in Imfolozi and hearing that throughout the day. Lovely post @joanstewart


North Coast of KZN appears to have many pairs with coastal rivers, you lived in a lovely part of the country for wildlife @buckaroo

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Absolutely! Magnificent. Special.

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Great photos! I've seen a few Bald Eagles here in California. They are some really big birds.


Must be exciting when you get to see them @derekrichardson thanks for visiting.

They look so majestic, really amazing shots. I'm always surprised at how big these birds are, that eagle could easily take out a small mammal. (not that it would, since it's a fish eagle :p)


Majestic in flight @daan some places do mention them enjoying a monkey.

Great post! I love how informative it is about a bird I'm unlikely to get to see myself. Thanks for sharing!


Your kind words of encouragement appreciated @viking-ventures

@joanstewart can you believe that one of them flew across my way today Lady Joan. Third time now that I see him here in the apple valley. There's a breeding pair of Jackal Buzzards up near the dam and a pair of Blue Cranes at the neighbour's dam. I got a nice shot of the eagle in flight and will post it tomorrow! Blessings.


The birds are coming in now with spring on the air, exciting to see variety @papilloncharity

Saw a fish eagle this past holiday. What an amazing sight!


Entertaining watching them ride thermals @tanyaschutte thanks for visiting.

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Really enjoyed your post and added it to this week's episode of Biomimicry Inspirations. Hope you enjoy!