Always look up

One of the most iconic sounds of Africa must be the call of the African Fish Eagle. Whether it is early morning, during the afternoon or approaching sunset, the call of this majestic bird will make you feel part of the bush.

One of the things I forgot to focus on during my first trip to Kruger was looking for birds. I was focussed so much on the ground that I often forgot to look up in the trees.

My friend and I stopped around the Lubyelubye Bridge and scanned the ground for any signs of animals. A car stopped next to us and we engaged in a friendly conversation. We asked if they had seen anything exciting in the area. The man looked at me and said, “Look Up”.

I did just that. I looked up and opposite us was a large nest with an African Fish Eagle inside it.

African Fish Eagle-5

This sighting felt like it trumped any sighting on the ground. We watched the graceful eagle simply sit in the nest and scan the surrounding area. Luck would have it that the eagle also called its unmistakeable call.

African Fish Eagle-4

The next moment we saw some movement in the nest. There was a chick inside it too. The chick got up and started moving around the nest. The mature Fish Eagle proceeded to feed the little one.

African Fish Eagle-2African Fish Eagle-1African Fish Eagle-3

I still can’t believe that we saw this sighting and I count myself lucky that I did. I also hate to think about how many other amazing tree top sightings I missed out on. We had a couple of other moments where we heard the Fish Eagle call across the Sabie River at Skukuza rest camp and Crocodile Bridge rest camp.

It’s a sound I’ll never forget.

3 Comments on “Always look up

  1. Fish Eagles are indeed iconic as you say. We saw (and heard) one at Spioenkop Dam last week – sends shivers of pleasure down my spine.


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