|An African Fish-Eagle flying.|
| Icthyophaga vocifer|
African Fish-Eagle, Icthyophaga vocifer is a species of eagle in the Buteoninae subfamily and the Milvini tribe. It is closely related to the Madagascan Fish-Eagle (I. vociferoides), White-bellied Sea-Eagle (I. leucogaster) and Sanford's Sea-Eagle (I. sanfordi). It is found in Africa, south of the Sahara.
Icthyophaga is derived from Greek, ιχθυοφαγος ikhthuophagos fish-eating < ιχθυς ikhthus, ιχθυος ikhthuos fish; -φαγος -phagos -eating < φαγειν phagein to eat; vocifer is derived from Latin vociferari to cry aloud < vox, vocis voice, cry, sound; -fera carrying < ferre to bear.
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|Other common names||African Fish Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, African sea eagle, African Sea-Eagle, Fish Eagle, River Eagle, West African River-eagle|
Length is 63–75 cm (25–30 in); males weigh 1,985–2,500 g (4.38–5.5 lb), females weigh 3,200–3,600 g (110–130 oz); the wingspan is 175–210 cm (5.7–6.9 ft).
Perches for 85–95% of day in productive tropical habitat. Most often seen singly or in pairs on high branches along water. Usually solitary, but more than 100 may gather at concentrations of stranded fish. Hunts mainly from a perch by swooping down to pluck prey from near the water surface, rowing larger prey to shore. Rarely hunts when soaring, but regularly pursues and pirates other piscivorous birds.
It is a specialised fish eater; more often seen watching from a perch than hunting in flight, it swoops to snatch fish just under the surface, using a backward swing of its feet. It eats fish that are 200–1,000 g (0.44–2.2 lb), but also up to 4,200 g (9.3 lb). It pursues and pirates other piscivorous birds.
It also feeds upon carrion, waterbirds (including colonial species), mammals (monkeys and hyraxes), reptiles (monitor lizards, terrapins and crocodile hatchlings), frogs and even insects; whatever is locally available. Immature birds feed on the kills of Lions and Leopards in Uganda. At Lake Naivasha in Kenya, Red-knobbed Coots and fish were important prey.
During its display call, it throws its head backwards and forwards. The call is a distinctive, far-ranging “WEEE-AH kleeuw kleeuw kleew” given by both sexes; the loud yelping calls are uttered when perched or in flight, often as a pair in duet, synonymous with the African waterways.
They lay eggs in any month in most regions, but locally seasonal and generally favours low water conditions, with peak in Oct–Dec/Jan in W Africa; Jul–Oct in Uganda; Jun–Aug in S Africa.
It builds large stick nest in high fork of tree as close to the water as possible, rarely on a cliff or a steep slope. Their nests are 120–150 centimetres (47–59 in) across and 20–60 centimetres (7.9–24 in) deep when first built. Usually lays two eggs (or one-four); incubation is 42-45 days.
- ^ IUCN Red List 2013.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kemp, A.C. & Marks, J.S. (2014). African Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2014). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52983 on 17 November 2015)."
- ^ Jobling, J. (2015). "Ichthyophaga". In In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. http://www.hbw.com/dictionary/definition/Ichthyophaga. Retrieved 11-28-15.
- ^ Jobling, J. (2015). "vocifer". In In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. http://www.hbw.com/dictionary/definition/vocifer. Retrieved 11-28-15.
- ^ a b Ferguson-Lees, James; Christie, D.A. (2006). Raptors of the World (Princeton Field Guides). Princeton Field Guides. ISBN 0713669578.
- ^ a b Harrison, Colin and Greensmith, Alan (1993). Birds of the World. Dorling Kindersley Inc.. ISBN 1564582965.
- ^ Krüeger, O. (1997) Population density and intra- and interspecific competition of the African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer in Kyambura Game Reserve, southwest Uganda. Ibis 139(1): 19-24.
- ^ Harper, D.M., Harper, M.M., Virani, M.A., Smart, A., Childress, R.B., Adatia, R., Henderson, I. & Chege, B. (2002) Population fluctuations and their causes in the African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer (Daudin)) at Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Hydrobiologia 488: 171-180.
- ^ Dr Perrins, Christopher; Dr Harrison, C.J.O. and Cameron, Ad (illu.) (1979). Birds: Their Life, Their Ways, Their World. Readers Digest Assn. ISBN 0895770652.
- ^ Borrow, N. & Demey, R. (2011) Birds of Senegal and The Gambia. Christopher Helm, London.
- ^ Mundy, P.J. & Couto, J.T. (2000) High productivity by Fish Eagles on a polluted dam near Harare. Ostrich 71(1–2): 11-14.
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