On my first trip to South Africa, I completely blanked on the name of this bird while watching a pair perched in a tree along the river, and asked my guide the brilliant question “What is their primary prey?” Fish. Oh dear… I felt quite silly. I learned a bit more about the fish eagles this past trip (thank you to Graeme, Rebecca and Vincent for all the valuable information throughout my stay!) You can tell the difference between the males and females by the white front feathers. The males have a shirt, and the girls have a skirt. I had serious trouble distinguishing between the two at times though – those fish eagle girls sometimes have VERY short skirts! I’ll give my best guess as to the sexes in the pictures below. I’ve got a 50/50 shot of being right. Have a great evening!
Maybe not the nicest perch, but it certainly was a popular one. During my two weeks at Zimanga, I saw herons, kingfishers, fish eagles and an assortment of other birds on this dam structure. By looks I think this is a male, but I think this may be the eagle that I was told was indeed a female with a very short skirt.
1/320 sec, f5.6, ISO 640
A male fish eagle gave us a fly by while we were out doing our monitoring activities. The more I look at this picture, the more it looks like I (badly) photoshopped the bird into the background. I can assure you I didn’t!
1/800 sec, f5.6 ISO 800
A female fish eagle along the shores of Jozini Dam. I saw several fish eagles during my morning boat trip, but unfortunately for my photography, most were too far away to get a reasonable picture on a somewhat bumpy boat ride.
1/1250 sec, f5.6, ISO 320
I’m not even going to hazard a guess on the shirt vs skirt for this photo!
1/1600 sec, f6.3, ISO 400