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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Fish-Eagle

Afrikaans name: Visarend

African Fish-Eagle

Adult African Fish-Eagle

Photo © Steven Herbert

Haliaeetus vocifer

The African Fish-Eagle is a well-known bird and its distinctive call can be hear over both cities and wild areas.

They can be found in any area where there is a large stretch of water nearby.

Female African Fish-Eagles are larger than males and can reach a wingspan of over 2 metres and a weight of around 3.5 kg.

A pair will stick together for life and will often re-use the same nest. Each year they add to it with the result that the nests can be quite large. They lay between 1 and 3 eggs.

The African Fish-Eagle is well known for its method of hunting fish. It keeps watch from a tree and, when it sees a suitable fish, will swoop down and snatch it from the surface of the water.

Although fish are their main food item they will also catch birds and reptiles if they can.

Juvenile African Fish-Eagle

Above - Juvenile African Fish-Eagle

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 127

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 67

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 136

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 18

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 56

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 16

Eagle Days - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1973 - Page: 18

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 282

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 52

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 370

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 133

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 128

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 92

The Coastal Guide of South Africa - Author: Jacana Media - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 98

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 62

Wild Issue 20 - Author: - Year Published: 2012 - Page: 6

List of South African Birds

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