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 Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 74

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 127

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

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 72

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 94

African Wildlife - Vol 38 No 3 - Author: - Published: 1984 - Page: 117

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 32

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 109

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 79

Birds of Prey - A Kinship - Author: H. Von Michaelis - Published: 1987 - Page: 78

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

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 74

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 74

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

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 56

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 42

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 53

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

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 17

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

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 91

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

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 56

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 72

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 41

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 168

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 168

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

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 7

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 78

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 101

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 107

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

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

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 50

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 88

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

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 69

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 154

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 9

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 58

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

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

Vanishing Eagles - Author: Philip Burton - Published: 1987 - Page: 26

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

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 48

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 50

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