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African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 160
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Date Submitted: 2010-04-07 18:29
Viewed: 5827
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Fish Eagle / Haliaeetus vocifer

The African Fish Eagle is the 14th in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park, which I am currently sharing. Enjoy!

The call of the African Fish Eagle is certainly one of the most beautiful sounds one can hear in the Kruger National Park, whenever one is close to a dam or river. One can spot its prominent white head from far away between the green leaves, when it is sitting high up in a tree. Just as beautiful it is to listen to their remarkable call; they are just as beautiful to look at for their gracefulness. Soundtracks of their calls are most of the times heard in TV programs or documentaries about wildlife. It is very unique and a joy to listen to.

General Overview
Most southern Africans are familiar with the haunting, ringing cry of the magnificent African fish eagle, one of the most plentiful birds of prey in Africa in spite of its large size and specialised habits.

If you haven't come across it in a game reserve or along a large river, the chances are you've seen it on a television programme featuring the Okavango Delta or the Pongola flood plain, both regions where the bird is found in large numbers. It is becoming increasingly common too on quite small bodies of water, such a farm dams and sewage disposal ponds.

The fish eagle spends most of each day perched on top of a tall tree. From here it scans the water or shoreline for the telltale movement of a fish; then, taking off in a long, shallow glide towards the water, it suddenly brings its feet forward for a final strike and usually catches the fish in one graceful swoop, flying on without more than a momentary check. If the prey is fairly deep, however, the eagle may submerge completely. Its unfeathered legs and roughened feet are specially designed to help the bird slip through water easily and get a good grasp on their prey.

They lay their eggs mostly in midwinter in a large stick nest that may be used year after year, sometimes reaching a depth of 1.2meters. The bowl is lined with grass, leaves and reeds. The female usually lays 2 white eggs which are incubated by both sexes. After 75 days the young are ready to fly, but will stay with the parents for a further 2 months. It reaches a length between 63-73cm and a weight of between 2-2.5kg.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

bobair, albert, jlinaresp, Mamagolo2, Adanac, KOMSIS, efsus, boreocypriensis, pierrefonds, roges, jeanpaul, uleko, pnieuwoudt, CeltickRanger, maurydv has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 06-13 08:38
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna,nice to see this well composed photo of the eagle as the pose is interesting and the colour looks very good and the only weakness on the technical side of things is some of the noise present robs it of the finer details.I like this photo and it makes me wonder just how they compare to bald eagles size wise as it looks to be quite large,I need to check out more about them as until today I hadn't heard of a fish eagle,but then again there are some 10000 bird species living in the world today.It would be nice to photo them all but I don't believe it can be done in a lifetime.Thanks for sharing a new for me species.


Hi Miss Anna,Piggy...Eksteen!
Good morning! Here you are again!A wonderful scene of action and I think you are good with managing to use your camera just in time.Fantastic!Your notice are also very good as usually.However, I think that you deserve new camera to justify your talent better.Keep on taking pictures!
Best Regards,
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-04-07 23:16]

Hello Anna,
Beautiful photo of this Fish Eagle. Great deep natural colours, good light and sharp. Nice pose. Good composition, DOF and BG.
Best regards Siggi

Hi Anna,

This bird is lovely. I love the pose that you have taken it in. The detail is very good along with the colours and exposure. Good composition as well.
Great capture and TFS


Another awesome shot in this beautiful series,Anna.
I love your timing here with this majestic bird in take-off mode. This adds to a feeling of "nature in action" that one gets immediatly upon seeing this shot.
Very well done,my dear friend.

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-04-08 1:00]

Hello Anna,
Another fantastic bird photo in the series. Very beautiful colours and a great composition and timing. A little bit noisy in some places,a pity. Interesting tree.

Hello Anna,
Very good timing and great capture of the take-of of this superb fish eagle

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-04-08 5:05]

Hi Anna,.
excellent pose and the sharpness is well documented. i like the suspense you created from this shot.
The simple bird with naked btanches and blue sky.
A simple pleasant view.


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  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-04-08 6:05]

Good timing and excellent image. Fine composition and background. The bird's pose is spectacular. tfs.

Hi Anna,
Impressive, The pose of the bird is spectacular, and what kind of bird! and background with a blue sky very well managed. Good job! congratulations! TFS

Hola Anna

Vaya lo pillastes en un buen momento, muy bien tirada y rápida para que no te salga movida, la verdad es que haces unas fotos muy buenas. Espero que la naturaleza no nos abandone, por que no sabriamos que hacer sin animales que fotografiar.

Un saludo Antonio

Hello Anne,

Very beautiful capure of this eagle, one of my favorite birds, nice moment you captured colors and light are excelent and also great details.
Thanks for sharing.


Hi Anna my friend,
This is such a stunning photo I'm lost for words. You've managed to catch it just at the right moment, well done!! I love it against the clear blue sky. Very well done and tfs.
PS: Hope you will soon feel much better.

Buen dinamismo al captar l toma justo antes del inicio de vuelo. Buen encuadre y fondo, queriéndolo o no, muy idóneo.
Un abrazo: J. Ignasi.

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-04-09 19:04]

Hello Anna,
What great timing here my dear locking him for ever in his launch sequence. Image has sharp focus and lovely exposure making it a pleasure to view. Thank you Anna for this lovely posting.

Hi Anna, Wow, nice photo. You were fortunate to be able to get so close, normally they sit so far away that its not even worth taking a photo. I assume this one was in the process of taking off? Nature in action, so much more impressive than a static photo. When I photograph a bird, and that occurs mostly in Kruger, I take a good selection of photos, then make a noise to scare it off and try to get an action picture. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In this instance you managed to get a really nice action shot. Well done. Do you have a camera club in Empangeni? You and Loot should join, you will advance so quickly through the ranks and you will be exhibiting in salons in no time!

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  • mohkum (24)
  • [2010-04-10 6:18]

Wonderful capture! Love the light effects and the lovely spread-wing posture of this beautiful bird.

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  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-04-12 2:20]

Hi Anna,
Eagle pose a classic and very beautiful ...
Timing, sharp detail and color looks great.
Best wishes,

Hello Anna,
extraordinary beauty of this photo, beautiful colors, excellent contrast and sharpness.
compliments and thanks for sharing
hello Vanni

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2010-04-12 13:39]

Wow! That's a great bird shot Anna! Great timing, well composed and technically very strong. Well done!


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  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2010-04-13 5:23]

Merhaba Anna!
Tam havalandığı esnada mükemmel kaydedilmiş bir kuş fotosu bu. Gövdedeki ve boyundaki tüylerin oluşturduğu kontrast enfes güzellikte. Yaşadığı doğal habitat içinde ve enfes bir artalan önünde çok başarılı gözüküyor. Tebrikler.


Hi Anna,

An exceptional action capture of this magnificent beauty ready to fly. I like its wing position shown with such professional approach. The blue BG also contribute to the beauty of the shot. In addition, Perfect POV, very well done sharpness and nice clarity throughout the work, are amazing.
Well done, my friend!


Hi Anna,

The tree is framing well the eagle. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the african fishing eagle ready to leave. It is clear and precise. The morning light is bringing out the different tints of colors. Have a nice day.


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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-04-16 3:31]

Hello Anna,
Perfect timing as it is taking off, a great POV, a fine blue sky BG, excellent colours and sharpness set in a pleasing composition have combined to make this yeat another excellent image.
You caught this African Fish Eagle in the pose often portayed as a church lectern, the wings supporting a large bible!
Thanks and I wish you and Loot a nice weekend,

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  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-04-16 5:39]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic shot.
Presentation is good.
A new excelent macro.
Have a wonderful day,

Hola Anna,

Remarkable beauty of Africa's most beautiful view of this magnificent species with the card did.
full take-off moment, I think good timing.
Very impressive detail and vibrant hues.
Light, very successful, perspective and clarity.
Thanks for sharing.

Best Regards,

Ciao Anne, superb eagle in fantastic pose, splendid natural colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-04-16 7:36]

Hi my Purple Lady,what a great capture you show us today from the Kruger! I like a lot this point of view,it seem a pic taken from "Jaycee"...the style is the same..and the result too...The light wasn't the best but you work very very well and the result is truely nice.Thanks for share,have a nice weekend,LUCIANO

Bonsoir Anna
Félicitations pour cette parfaite prise de ce bel aigle pret à s'envoller.
Merci pour l'envoi....JP

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-04-17 6:56]

Hello Anna,
Your timing was perfect in getting this capture of the mighty Sea Eagle! It is such a beautiful bird and the colours show up very nicely here in the sunlight. Great focus too and it stands out beautifully against the clear sky.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi Anna, beautiful photo of a fish eagle.
Excellent timing to freeze the movement as the bird took off for flight!

hello Anna

excellent photo of the African Fish Eagle with fine POV
and framing, you clicked the photo at the best moment
with the wings open, fine focus sharpness and details, TFS


Hello Anna,
a very beautiful capture of the African Fish Eagle taken from an excellent POV in a great posture, very good sharpness and splendid colours, a very pleasant dynamic composition.
Best regards

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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-04-28 18:44]

Hello Anna,
Sorry about being so late, but I just don't seem to have much time to get on since spring has finally arrived.
This looks like one hefty bird, maybe the dark coloration has something to do with it, but it just appears to have a lot of body mass.
It somewhat resembles the Bald Eagle with it's white head, but the rusty colors in it's plumage is a dead give-a-way that it isn't.
Super shot showing very nice detail, beautiful colors and captured in a great take off pose. TFS.
PS. I enjoyed your hummingbird clip.

Dearest friend,
A VERY GOOD IMAGE of a Fish Eagle about to take off. I virtually hear his cry - as always - when they are about to take off!!

This is the stuff they print in Coffee Table Books! Which reminds me: the photo which you submitted - when you won the great prize - is it on TrekNature?

I wonder how many photos you took, before you caught the right moment :-)

I personally find bird photography (except ostriches) in South Africa more difficult than any other wild animals!!

Looking at your photo one feels the wish to fly - and I am not surprised - that since ever humans existed, they always wanted to be able to fly...

The strong wings/feathers allow the fish eagle to skim the water and catch fish.

Our national bird is everything South Africans are!

Your work does it fully justice!

Have a nice evening
Lots of love

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