The adult is a large, distinctive, chestnut-and-white eagle that sits prominently on perches near rivers, lakes, and other waterbodies. The scruffy immature is dark brown and mottled with white on head. In flight the white windows in the wings and pale, dark-tipped tail make the juvenile distinctive. It catches fish with a graceful, shallow plunge to the water’s surface, but it will also eat birds, reptiles, and carrion. It tosses its head backwards while making a loud penetrating “wheeee-ah-kleeuw-kleeuw-kluuu” call; it is one of the most distinctive bird sounds of Africa.