The African Fish Eagle is a large bird similar in size to the North American Bald Eagle but has a distinctive reddish brown coloring in its feathers. Males usually have a wingspan of about 6 feet, while females have wingspans of 8 feet. The adult is very distinctive in appearance with a mostly brown body and large, powerful, black wings. The head, breast, and tail of African Fish Eagles are snow white, with the exception of the featherless face, which is yellow. The eyes are dark brown in colour. The hook-shaped beak, ideal for a carnivorous lifestyle, is yellow with a black tip. The plumage of the juvenile is brown in colour, and the eyes are paler compared to the adult. The feet have rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons in order to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey. While this species mainly preys on fish, it is opportunistic and may take a wider variety of prey such as waterbirds. Its distinctive cry is, for many, evocative of the spirit or essence of Africa.