Using the seedpods of the Ulumbu Tree (Sterculia togersii), Zimbabwean artists have created this Fish Eagle. The African Fish Eagle has barbs on its feet to help it hold on to slippery fish, its main prey. The African Fish Eagle's loud distinctive call is an iconic sound of Africa. It has the honor of being the national bird of three nations: Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Sudan. Standing on hand twisted wire feet, the Fish Eagle is hand painted in the distinctive colors of the bird's plumage.
As each seedpod is individually made, each bird will be unique with its own markings and poses.
Length: 2 1/2"; Width: 1".
Raina Mazwiembiri's husband, George, started making seedpod birds as a means to earn extra income for their family twelve years ago. A few years later Raina joined him and together they sold their birds at local craft shops and markets. Raina took over the enterprise and now works with two of her daughters.
The seedpods come from the Ulumbu Tree (Sterculia Rogersii) and are not found in quantity in the area where they live. They have to travel seven hours to the Bulawayo area to pick them and then travel back home. This trip typically takes three days. They use the seedpod as the body of the bird, shaped wire for the legs and putty for the beaks. Then they hand paint the birds with bright colors one at a time. Raina and George have seven children and live in Ruwa, Zimbabwe.