The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) is a large raptor found in most of Africa, near water, such as large lakes and rivers. It does not like dry regions.
The African Sea Eagle has brown body feathers, a white head, and black wings. Its head, chest, and tail are white. Its featherless face is yellow. It has dark brown eyes, and a yellow hooked beak with a black tip.
The African Fish Eagle can grow to 63-75 centimetres (25-30 inches), with a wingspan of 2.4 metres (7.9 feet).
The African Fish Eagle feeds mainly on fish. It swoops from a tree and catches the fish in its sharp claws, called talons. It takes the fish to its nest, or perch, to eat. Fish are slippery, but the African Fish Eagle has spiricules on its toes that can stick into the skin of the fish, so that the fish does not drop from the eagle’s claws when it flies.
The African Fish Eagle mates for life. It is monogamous. They make a large nest in trees. The female lays one to three eggs, which are mainly white with a few reddish speckles. The female sits on the eggs, which hatch after 42-45 days.
Chicks fledge after 70-75 days, which means that they can fly, and leave the nest. They still depend upon their parents for about three months after they can fly.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM