You are not going to believe Harpy Eagle’s size. With its crown of raised gray feathers, beautiful eyes, expressive face, and feather collar of black and grey aside from its impressive size, the Harpy looks downright regal. With a wingspan of up to 7 feet, this bird has the ability to reach up to 3 feet in height.
A female Bald Eagle weighs 12 pounds while the female Harpy Eagle averages 13 to 20 pounds. Female eagles are heavier than their male counterparts. A male Harpy would weigh almost half the weight of the female at her heaviest between 9 to 13 pounds.
The upper canopy of tropical lowland forests, stretching from Mexico to Brazil, and northern Argentina is the Harpy Eagle’s natural habitat. Their wingspan allows them
to navigate through the woods as they are shorter than other eagle species.
The males and females can be identified in appearance from its raised feather crown to its large, powerful talons apart from size. The rear talons of the Harpy are bigger than the claws of a Grizzly Bear which measures 5 inches in length.
Due to their immensely powerful talons, the Harpy is at the top of the food chain in the forest. As they have enough strength to catch and carry small animals weighing as much as 17 pounds, their favorite meal is sloths and monkeys. They save energy for their hunt, and they don’t soar for long distances as other eagles do. They’re also not very vocal, and they sit on a lookout perch for hours waiting for unsuspecting prey to appear. Their speed is up to 50 miles per hour. For a successful catch, their silence is more than enough.
But the sad news is that Harpy Eagles are becoming increasingly rare across Latin America due to deforestation and sighting. Harpy Eagles are monogamous and raise just one eaglet every two years, which means that even a small decline in numbers can negatively affect population recovery like many birds. Their loss in some environments will adversely affect the ecosystem as the Harpy naturally keeps the populations of animals like Capuchin monkeys in check.
When the monkeys snatch eggs from a bird’s nest for food, the process of devastation will begin, triggering the disappearance of other animals.