African Fish Eagle

Known as the ‘Voice of Africa’, this eagle throws its head back and gives a loud, haunting cry. 

With its distinctive white head and tail, it can often be spotted in the wild perching in high branches beside rivers. When it locates a tasty looking fish, it will swoop down to catch it with a backwards swing of its talons. It will also eat small mammals, birds and carrion if they’re available and will often steal fish from other birds and local fishermen, if it gets a chance!  

These efficient predators are so skilled that they only need to hunt for about 10 minutes every day, though not every attempt is successful. About one in seven hunts will end in a meal. 



Where are they found?
They are common across Africa (south of the Sahara) and hunt along freshwater rivers, lakes and reservoirs. They can also be found on the coast at the mouths or rivers or inlets where trees are present.

Scientific name
Haliaeetus vocifer
12 to 24 years in the wild. Up to 40 years in captivity.
Fast facts
The African Fish Eagle is known as the ‘Voice of Africa’
It will often steal fish from fishermen
Birds of prey can see at least 4 times as much detail as a human
Conservation status
Least concern
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