The Cry of the Fish Eagle

| Marina Smithers

The African fish eagle, one of the most recognisable birds in sub-Saharan Africa and its haunting cry is one of the most evocative sounds of the African bush.

Like many raptors, fish eagles are monogamous and are believed to mate for life. Pairs generally remain within sight of each other for most of the day, and are intensely territorial. The size of territories varies according to food availability, and they are fiercely defended all year round by both partners.

Its diet consists mostly of fish which it usually catches by making a shallow swooping dive with its feet thrown forward to seize them 15 – 30 cm below the surface. Their feet are specially adapted for this; in addition to the formidable talons they have small spikes on the underside which help to grip slippery fish. Fish eagles can lift fish up to about 2kg clear of the water and fly with them; they can fly with the fish weighing 2-3kg planing along the surface.  They also eat reptiles such as monitor lizards, terrapins and crocodile hatchlings and mammals including hyraxes, rodents and vervet monkeys.

Fish eagles are a regular sight at Royal Chundu and their calls fill the air throughout the day whilst our guests relax looking over the majestic Zambezi River giving one a true sense of being in the heart of Africa.

Tailor-Made Tours featuring Royal Chundu

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