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Eagle, African Fish

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Imax
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Imax » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:50 am

I found this bird at Olifants Camp in September, I never logged the sighting, so I dont know what my toughts of it were at that time.

I am pretty sure of the ID, and no doubt that it is a young bird, but a few things on this bird bothers me:
1. Pure white under wing coverlets
2. That very distinct black collar
3. The line over the eye towards the back of the head is very solid.

Lets see what you think?

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mystery raptor-4 by Imax, on Flickr

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mystery raptor-3 by Imax, on Flickr

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mystery raptor-2 by Imax, on Flickr

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mystery raptor-2 by Imax, on Flickr

Gregor
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Gregor » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:03 am

Imax,

My thoughts lean to palmnut vulture immature.

If seen in KNP this seems a very rare sighting!
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Niall » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:45 am

No such luck I'm afraid, it is an immature African Fish Eagle. The terminal black band on the underside of the tail is diagnostic.

Cheers

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Imax
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Imax » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:13 pm

Thanks Niall and Gregor.

Niall, thanks for confirming. I have never seen one with such pronounced black band on the chest, but yes that terminal band also had me on fish eagle.

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby kitefarrago » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:03 pm

Some more raptors from my stay in Kruger NP in August this year. We only visited the southern half of the park, so that's where these pictures are from once more.

Once again I'm new to birdwatching and I don't feel that confident with raptor id, in particular with immature birds.

The next bird was identified at the time as an immature fish eagle. My guide doesn't seem to suggest that it could have that much white on it below, hence I'm wondering whether that's correct.

Image

Thanks for your help. A couple of birds to go...

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Barcud
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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Barcud » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:05 pm

Hi Kitefarrago,

Just seen your other pic - Immature Fish Eagle. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Imberbe » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:09 pm

:thumbs_up: Agree.
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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby sandeep » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:24 pm

I was at Lake Sibaya in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in March 2010 and I have never seen so many African Fish Eagles - I think they had over 20 nesting pairs. We stood at the edge of the lake and spotted a AFE in the distance and then it flew down onto the surface of the lake and stayed there for some seconds - like it was floating on the water. It then took off with a fish in its claws - my first and only experience of actually seeing a fish eagle fish :). It then flew and settled down on a bank close to where we were and of course I walked over to a position as close as possible without disturbing the eagle and its prey. We watched it feed on the fish till its mate flew over and it took off with the fish. Foll are a selection of some of the pics I took
I am not sure if it is appropriate to post Lake Sibaya pics here, and if it is not, my sincere apologies

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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby Kamadejo » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:12 pm

Stunning pics Sandeep :clap: :clap: :clap: It must have been great to watch the Fish Eagle :lol:
Katja

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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby Leeukos » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:06 am

Those are very nice pictures. :clap: :clap:

I was at Sunsetdam at Lower Sabie on 2011-03-04 and saw a number of African Fish Eagles catching fish from the dam. I got the following sequence of photos which shows the eagle catching a fish from the dam.

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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby sandeep » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:23 am

Thanks Katja and Leeukos. Yes, yet another of the magical moments which stays with you :).

Great pics Leeukos. I have always seen them at the Sunset Dam but never got a chance to actually see them fish. Leeukos a question - when you watched the fish eagles coming down on the water, did they grab the fish during flight or did you also get the same impression that I did that the eagle actually settled on the surface of the water for a few moments and then flew off with its catch??

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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby Leeukos » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:49 am

Hi Sandeep. The Fish Eagles I saw at Sunsetdam grabbed the fish during flight. After you mentioned that it looked like the eagle first settled on the water I remembered reading something interesting. It seems it all depends on the size of the fish.

The fish eagle prefers fish which weighs less than 1 kg. They say it can easily carry fish off up to 2 kg and then fly off. Fish that weigh more than 2 kg are dragged across the water or the eagle will fall back into the water and uses its wings to row back to the side of the dam.

I have never seen a Fish Eagle to first settle on the water and then take off, but I think it might be due to the size of the fish, getting a good grip, and then taking off.

Maybe some other members of the forum can give more information on this.
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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby sandeep » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:17 am

Thanks Leeukos. I am no expert on fish, but would say that the fish that I saw with the eagle looked a fair size, so this may well be the case.
Yes would be interesting to see if any of the other forumites can comment

Cheers

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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby Mike1916 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:20 pm

Seen between Satara and Olifants, many eagles present they seemed to be catching insects me thinks.

Was also Tawny and Steppe Eagles and many yet to be identified small raptors.

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African Fish Eagle by Michael hattingh, on Flickr
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Re: Eagle, African Fish

Unread postby anne-marie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:21 am

I have got also a special one :shock:
... rob a piece of fish to a Crocodile
As per Franck the Fish Eagle could be hungry

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