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African Fish Eagle

The African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) is known for its loud, distinctive call, which can be heard for miles before you can even see it. It is, for many, the sound evokes the essence of Africa. It’s said that once you’ve heard the fish eagle’s call, you never forget the sound.

 

Often seen perched on a riverbank tree, it feeds mainly on fish. When a potential meal is spotted, it will swoop down and snatch it from the water with its large clawed talons. The fish eagle’s diet is not just fish - it also may prey on water birds and eat their fill of carrion.

 

Like most raptors, African Fish Eagles are believed to be monogamous and mate for life. Even so, the male must win the heart of the female each year, and this bird does it in quite a spectacular fashion. The pair meets in mid-air, locks talons and free-falls until they separate just above the ground. They do this over and over until they mate. Then it’s off to the nest they’ve called home for many years.

Bird Checklist & Field Guide