African fish eagle

Okavango Delta

Late afternoon and an African Fish Eagle is perched on a branch overlooking the waters of the Okavango Delta.    During my Botswana trip in mid 2009,  I observed this species several times but always from a distance hence the necessity for the long lens.

African Fish Eagle, Okavango Delta, Botswana.  Canon 5D mark  2 with 500mm lens at F6.3,  shutter speed 1/640 second at ISO 250.

About African fish eagles


The African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) also known as the African sea eagle, is a large species of eagle found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and a suitable perch can be found.

Sexual Dimorphism

In common with many other raptors, the female is larger than the male in both wingspan and weight typically being about 50% heavier.


As its name suggests, it feeds primarily on fish and like ospreys and other sea eagles has evolved spiky structures called spiricules on its toes that allow it to grasp fish and other slippery prey.

Conservation Status

In terms of its conservation status, the species is listed as of “least concern” by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), with an estimated population size of about 300,000 individuals and a distribution area of 18,300,000 km2.