Harpy eagle: 5 things to know about this fascinating eagle

Harpy Eagle with wings

An unrecognized animal, the Harpy eagle ( Harpia harpyja ) is nevertheless a fascinating bird when you take the time to discover it. The proof in a few essential points!

1. A bird with a physical… confusing

The first time you see a harpy eagle in a photo, you tend to think that it is a human disguised in a bird costume. And for a good reason, the fierce harpy does not look like any other animal.

Harpy Eagle Wingspan

First of all, it is particularly imposing since harpy eagle is one of the largest raptors in the world with its 2 meters wingspan and 4 to 9 kg. The female is also bigger than the male, even going so far as to be twice her weight!

But the physical peculiarities of the harpy eagle don’t end there. Indeed, it also has a gray crest on the top of the head that it bristles when it is on alert.

Harpy Eagle Size

Harpy eagles may measure from 86.5 to 107 cm (2 ft 10 in to 3 ft 6 in) in total length and have a wingspan of 176 to 224 cm (5 ft 9 in to 7 ft 4 in).

2. A South American animal

The harpy eagle is found, in the wild, only in South America, in the humid tropical forests of low altitude. It is located in particular in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Guyana.

However, like many other animals, it tends to disappear from the South American landscape gradually. In question?

Especially since the harpy eagle prefers to live as far as possible from humans. Indeed, if someone were to approach her nest, she could then be particularly aggressive. It is what makes it so difficult to observe.

3. His favorite prey? Lazy

The harpy eagle is, above all, an unusual predator. And for a good reason, it feeds on particularly large preys about its weight and size, such as monkeys and especially sloths. The latter indeed represent the majority of its diet. But it can also hunt birds, reptiles, porcupines, possums, or even armadillos.

Her hunting technique is simple: she perches on a branch, high in the canopy, and waits for interesting prey to pass below. Once the mark has been spotted, it drives towards it with astonishing speed, sometimes reaching 80 km / h, to catch it in its talons. It then takes it to its nest or to a tree stump to tear it to pieces.

4. Simply huge greenhouses

The harpy eagle is already impressive in appearance. But its greenhouses are also a curiosity in the animal world. For a good reason, they measure up to 10 cm long or as much as those of a grizzly bear.

But that’s not all. Its nails, always yellow, also have the particularity of exerting a pressure greater than that of a wolf’s jaw. We can therefore imagine the strength it can have!

5. A monogamous species

Like many species of birds, the harpy eagle is monogamous, which means that when it has chosen a mate, it stays with him for life.

However, little is known about its reproduction and nesting. However, it seems that this bird breeds every two or three years. And, each time, only one calf is raised, even though the female has laid two eggs. Indeed, this stops brooding from the first hatching. As for the male, it is he who brings preys to the nest during this period.


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