This fish eagle often sits in a tree directly opposite Mlibizi fishing camp, it’s nest just around the corner. One of a pair, they also feed a juvenile (brown coloured still,) and are probably laying eggs right now in their messy nest.
Our boatman threw a tiddler onto the water with a reed stuck through its gills. After following the bird carefully in its descent, I missed the shot! Luckily, the fish-eagle did too, on his first pass, and I got to record this magnificent bird change direction and swoop down directly towards me.
Wow, what power…
This is where he had to turn in mid air!
I was told a story about a fish eagle at Mlibizi Hotel. (Pic in the previous post.)
Rescued as a chick, the fish eagle had been brought up at the hotel, probably fed with the scraps from fisherman. Fully grown, it sat in a tree above the pool, as fish eagle are wont to do.
One day, a guy with a bald patch, jumped into the pool and began swimming across! I’m guessing from the birds perspective, his bald patch looked awfully like lunch, shimmering under water!
The fish eagle swooped down and stuck his talons into his scalp! It made quite a mess, I’m told!
Early August found us on the Zambezi, our client 40km from Musuna Island. We were asked to find water for the cook at Musuna, at his rural home up in the hills. Not an easy task when the surrounding area is 170m lower!
Neither of us are great fishermen, but we decided to give it a go, since we were on the Zambezi. We headed off, and tethering at a bream fishing spot, I saw this guy sitting in the tree directly overhead.The man manning the boat, threw in the bream bait, then threw some chunks of bait out for the tiger fish and this glorious bird swooped down and picked it out of the water, right in front of the boat! So of course, I had to ask the boatman to try it again so I could capture it with my camera
Fish eagles sit for hours on the rocks watching the water. They launch themselves off the rocks and hook huge fish straight out of the water with their claws.
They are fairly big birds, the white head and shoulders as distinctive as their call.
Often, well before the sun is up one will call across the still water. Another one answers even before the first has finished.
This picture gives you some idea of the height above the water. That’s the fish eagle, that little dot, right up there at the top of the rock. He flew off several times in the hour or so we watched him, swooping low over the water. I didn’t see him hook a fish unfortunately!
I realise this is a pretty feeble picture, but its what I have now…and it actually wasn’t that easy to get. The fish eagle kindly flew up and down several times for me!