African Fish Eagle

African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles
African Fish Eagle Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Haliaeetus Vocifer
African Fish Eagle Physical Characteristics
Brown, Black, White
12 to 24 years
4.4 to 7.9 pounds
African Fish Eagle Distribition

It is nicknamed the voice of Africa.

Nicknamed “the voice of Africa,” African fish eagles have loud exceptional calls that reverberate over the freshwater lakes of sub-Saharan Africa. This big eagle inhabits regions close to tremendous our bodies of water with lots of meals. Its attain is a ways and huge at some point of the continent; it’s far the countrywide chook for 3 international locations: Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Sudan. Find out the whole thing there’s to realize approximately the African fish eagle, which includes its habitat, look, diet, and predators.

4 Amazing Bird Facts

  • African fish eagles are monogamous and mate for life.
  • They are descendants of an historic sea eagle lineage.
  • Their toes have hard soles, so slippery fish don’t get away.
  • Snakes and monkeys want to scouse borrow their eggs.

Where to Find the African Fish Eagle

The African fish eagle levels over maximum of the African continent, South of the Sahara desert. While this eagle happens in lots of regions round big lakes, you could especially locate them in big populations round Lake Victoria, any of the Rift Valley lakes, Lake Malawi, the Orange River, and the Okavango Delta. You can locate various habitats withinside the tropical savanna biome, mainly the ones familiar with water. Look for those birds hovering withinside the sky or perched on a snug department close to rivers, lakes, reservoirs, lagoons, swamps, rain forests, marshes, and deserts bordering coastlines. This eagle remains in its habitat year-spherical and leads a distinctly sedentary lifestyle. They are diurnal, which means they’re maximum lively at some stage in the day.

African Fish Eagles may be discovered in greater than 30 international locations across the world, which includes, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

African Fish Eagle Nest

Eagle pairs construct and hold their nests the usage of twigs and different portions of wood, which they assemble on tall trees. The nests can develop big, accomplishing six toes throughout and nearly 4 toes deep. Nest constructing is a slow system and usually takes numerous breeding seasons to get that big.

African Fish Eagle Scientific Name

In New Latin, the call Haliaeetus (genus) means “sea eagle.” The African fish eagle and its species pair, the severely endangered Madagascar fish eagle, are descendants of an historic sea eagle lineage, giving them their darkish beaks, talons, and eyes. The French naturalist François Levaillant referred to as the African fish eagle “the vociferous one,” for this reason the call vocifer.

African Fish Eagle Size, Appearance, and Behavior

Adults have a awesome look with brown our bodies, white heads, and black wings. Its breast and tail also are snow white, with a featherless yellow face and darkish brown eyes. This species is taken into consideration big and functions sexual dimorphism. The women are greater prominent, weighing among 7.1 and 7.nine pounds, with a wingspan of 7.nine toes. The men weigh four.four to five.five pounds, with a 6.6-foot wingspan.

It has a hook-formed beak to seize and kill its prey, that is useful for birds of prey. Their toes have effective talons and hard soles, best for selecting up and conserving onto slippery fish. Their calls are exceptional; they throw their heads returned and exclaim, “weeah kyow kow kow.”

These sedentary birds stay in pairs and await their prey perched atop trees, then swoop down and hastily grasp their seize earlier than returning to their department. They additionally take part in kleptoparasitism, the exercise of stealing meals from different chook species; they frequently scouse borrow meals from goliath herons.

African fish eagle flying against an orange sky at sunrise in Kenya
Female African fish eagles have a wingspan of almost 8 feet, males have a wingspan of almost 7 feet.

Tomas Drahos/

African Fish Eagle Diet

Its food plan consists of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and different birds.

What Does an African Fish Eagle Eat?

The African Eagle is a carnivore and broadly speaking eats fish, mainly mullets and catfish. But they’ll additionally consume cichlids, tilapia, characins, and African tiger fish. However, it additionally feeds on birds, especially waterfowl like geese and flamingoes. Its different prey consists of reptiles, amphibians, carrion, and small mammals like monkeys and hares. If given the opportunity, the African fish eagle can also additionally scouse borrow home chickens.

African Fish Eagle Predators, Threats, and Conservation Status

The IUCN lists the African fish eagle as “least concern” and considers its populace stable. Presently, there aren’t anyt any sizable threats going through this species; it’s now no longer especially persecuted through people or tormented by habitat loss. In a few regions, there may be a build-up of insecticides which leads to its prey being contaminated, that could doubtlessly skinny their egg shells. Other capability threats encompass the degradation of water quality, improvement of coastline habitats, and entanglements of non-biodegradable gill nets.

What Eats the African Fish Eagle?

These birds of prey have only a few predators, which includes people, who don’t have an effect on them much. But their eggs are liable to being stolen and eaten. Snakes, Nile monitors, and monkeys are regarded for stealing and ingesting their younger. They additionally compete for meals with the tawny eagle.

Reproduction, Young, and Molting

Reproduction arise all through the dry season while the water stages are low, that can range through region. Females lay one to 3 eggs, and the couple takes turns incubating at the same time as the alternative hunts. The incubation length is forty two to forty five days, and then the chicks hatch and fledge round 70 to seventy five days later. The dad and mom will take care of their younger for 3 months when they depart the nest, however after they turn out to be nomadic, they congregate in organizations farfar from grownup eagles. Their existence expectancy is among 12 and 24 years.


Their populace length is 300,000 people with regular numbers. The conservation repute is “least concern” because of their extraordinarily huge variety and populace length. There is likewise no proof of any declines and great threats.

A look at from 1987 to 1999 witnessed the African fish eagle populace decline through 1/2 of at Lake Naivasha in Kenya because of meals shortage. There turned into simply sufficient meals to preserve them alive however now no longer sufficient to breed. Researchers concluded there may be an instantaneous hyperlink among seasonality adjustments and lake health, which has the capability to damage the flora and fauna in that habitat.

Up Next:


  1. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  2. Link Springer, Available here:
  3. Science Direct, Available here:

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