African Fish-Eagle ( Haliaeetus vocifer, family: Accipitridae)

african fish eagle kruger national park birds The African Fish-Eagle (Latin name Haliaeetus vocifer) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 148 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 481 also a picture of the African Fish-Eagle on page 481. The African Fish-Eagle belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Fish-Eagle is also known by these other names: Fish Eagle, West African Fish-Eagle, River Eagle.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

Kruger Park African Fish EagleThe African Fish-Eagle is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is a common resident and one of my favourite birds. It has a piercing and awesome cry unmistakable once heard. I've never been fortunate enough to see an actual catch of fish which is something I would dearly love to witness. The eagle with its white head and neck is hard to mistake even when flying.

The African Fish-Eagle can be seen throughout the Kruger favouring the larger rivers and large bankside trees for roosting.

The height of the African Fish-Eagle is about 73 cms and its weight is about 2000 gms

You will find that the male African Fish-Eagle plumage and colours are little different to that of the female African Fish-Eagle. Juvenile are distinctly different in plumage until they reach maturity characterised by white blotches on head and neck against a generally brown appearance. The breast of the Fish Eagle is a rich chestnut in colour and this colour continues to the underwing making a distinctive sight while flying. The female is slightly larger than the male

  • Head is white.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is black, white.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Fish-Eagle feeds in or around water mainly and eats fish and other aquatic animals.

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Fish-Eagle is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Haliaeetus vocifer will seek out a new mate. The nesting habit of African Fish-Eagle is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 1 to 4

Habitat for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Fish-Eagle are: wetlands and riverine areas

You will normally see the African Fish-Eagle in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ingqolane/Unomakhwezana

Zulu ... iNkwazi

Afrikaans ...Visarend

German ... Schreiseeadler

Portuguese ... guia-pesqueira-africana

French ... Pygargue vocifer

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Zeearend,

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 148

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,