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The answer to this week’s Tanda Tula #trackitthursday challenge is, the African fish eagle!

fish eagle
© Janine Mare

The fish eagle is a relative of the famous North American bald eagle and is a fairly large bird. It can easily be identified by its black, brown and white plumage. It has a dark body and wings with a white head and tail, and can vary in lengths ranging from 63cm to 75cm.

As it’s name suggests, the African fish eagle feeds on fish, weighing up to 1kg. In some instances they even prey upon other water birds. To hunt they will perch up high and then swoop down, catching their prey with their feet, getting as close as 15cm to the water, sometimes even submerging in the water.

They African fish eagle has two very distinctive calls which have become known as the ‘sound of Africa’. The first of the calls are used in flights or when perched, and sounds similar to the American bald eagle. When near the nest it has more of a ‘quock’ sound.

You can generally find these birds sitting in a high tree watching over the river for food, claiming it as their territory. They are usually seen in pairs even outside of mating season and will often share their kills with each other.

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Tanda Tula

Located in the Timbavati Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park. Tanda Tula Safari Camp features 12 luxury tents nestled in riverine forest overlooking a riverbed while the Tanda Tula Field Camp is an exclusive use 4 tented walking safari camp, modelled on the early explorer camps with modern comfort. The Tanda Tula camps are owner-managed.