Saturday, January 18, 2014

Is the Vundulamadzi bird the African Fish Eagle?

The Vundula (to stir up) or Vundulamadzi (stir up the water) bird is pictured on pages 56 and 57 of the Ulendo series Mtunda 3 Chichewa for Standard 3.
 
Vundulamadzi bird in the Mtunda 3 book
African Fish Eagle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haliaeetus_vocifer_-Lake_Naivasha,_Great_Rift_Valley,_Kenya-8.jpg

This blog wants to know its English name and to verify whether or not it is the African Fish Eagle?
Is Vundulamadzi a nickname for Nkhwazi which is a fish eagle and cries like “He-e-e in the same book? Is it also known for fishing (kuwedza nsomba).
The ‘Siyabonga Africa’  South African website on http://birding.krugerpark.co.za/birding-in-kruger-birds-and-muthi.html  titled Kruger Park Birding: Birds and Muthi (Medicine) lists the African fish eagle as being the most in demand as “all eagles are a symbol of power and will help one catch one’s prey or achieve specific goals.”

Other birds listed on that website include the Southern Ground-Hornbill (Nang'omba) for protection against lightning and the family among other muthi myths listed there.

According to the unofficial Wikipedia, the distinctive cry of the African fish eagle is, for many, “evocative of the spirit or essence of Africa. The call, shriller when uttered by males, is a weee-ah, hyo-hyo or a heee-ah, heeah-heeah”

According to the unofficial Wikipedia, the African Eagle mainly feed on fish “which it will swoop down upon from a perch in a tree, snatching the prey from the water with its large clawed talons. The eagle will then fly back to its perch to eat its catch.”

This species is quite common near freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, although they can sometimes be found near the coast at the mouths of rivers or lagoons.
Who read this book and is this the African Fish Eagle?
“As their name implies, African Fish Eagles are indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, ranging over most of continental Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Several examples of places where they may be resident include the Orange River in South Africa and Namibia, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and Lake Malawi bordering its namesake country Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.

“The African Fish Eagle is thought to occur in substantial numbers around the locations of Lake Victoria and other large lakes that are found in Central Africa, particularly the Rift Valley lakes. The African Fish Eagle is a generalist species, requiring only open water with sufficient prey and a good perch.

This is evident by the number of habitat types that this species may be found in, including grassland, swamps, marshes, tropical rainforest, fynbos and even desert bordering coastlines, such as that of Namibia," partly reads the Wikipedia.

The African Fish Eagle is a species placed in the genus Haliaeetus (sea eagles).

It’s feet has rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons in order to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey. While this species mainly subsists on fish, it is opportunistic and may take a wider variety of prey such as waterbirds.
They breed during the dry season when water levels are low. African Fish Eagles are believed to be monogamous - in other words, they mate for life.


NOTE:  This blog does not have photos of the African Fish Eagle but has used some from the unofficial online Wikipedia encylcopaedia with necessary links.






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Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star.

.....watch this space.


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