Paula Gilhooely…African Fish Eagles in Kruger National Park

The AfriP1000950can Fish Eagle is one of the iconic birds of Kruger National Park being a well know and easily distinguished raptor. They are often mistaken for the American Bald Eagle by Americans as they both have a white head and a brown body. These majestic birds can usually be found around bodies of water, rivers, dams, and large wetlands as their main food is fish. They are capable of lifting over 4 pounds of fish from the water with their talons.  They also prey on smaller water birds, reptiles and small mammals.

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They are usually found alone or in monogamous pairs perched in tall trees where their distinctive loud haunting call “kyow-kyow-kow”, often in duet,  can be heard across the water. They build a large stick nest in winter in a tall  tree near the water  or on a cliff where the female

lays one to three eggs (usually two) which hatch after six weeks. Both the male and female incubate the neat.  IMG_6142The young leave the nest at the end of ten weeks.

The Fish Eagle hunts from a perch often swooping down and catching fish with their talons.  They will often steal food from other smaller birds.

 

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