I love learning about animals I’ve never seen before and raptors are among the most fascinating. Meet the harpy eagle. It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas. Their hatchlings are the size of turkeys and the females typically weigh between 13 and 20 pounds (6 to 9 kg). They are considered an apex predator in the rainforest where they hunt.
Although their wingspan can reach a record 7.5 feet, their wingspan is relatively small. That’s because of an adaptation that increases maneuverability in forested habitats.
They have massive talons (around 3 to 4 inches long) around the size of a grizzly bear’s claws and they have an extra long back talon that they use to stab their prey.
Their feet are also super strong, they are much, more powerful than a Rottweiler’s jaws. They use their talons to snatch their prey from the trees.
They eat sloths and monkeys and other animals. Harpy eagles routinely take prey weighing more than 15 pounds (7 kg)! They’ve been seen snatching prey mid-flight.
The harpy eagle has a beautiful plumed head. The bird was the inspiration behind the design of Fawkes the Phoenix in the Harry Potter film series.
Sadly, with the exception of Panama, the species is almost extinct in Central America due to deforestation. The harpy eagle is the national bird in Panama.
What an amazing animal! Share this powerful, majestic bird with your family and friends!