Harpy Eagle is one of the colossal and most potent neotropical eagle species. It is named as American harpy eagle to differentiate from the Papuan eagle and also known as Papuan harpy eagle or New Guinea harpy eagle. The Harpy eagle belongs to the large family Accipitridae under the order Accipitriformes. Among the largest living species of eagles, it is the most powerful raptor in the world. You can found these species in the tropical lowland rainforests as well as in the upper sunshade layer of the rocks.
In 1758, the breed was first described as Vultur Harpyja by Linnaeus. In this eagle, the upper side is covered with slate-black feathers, and the bottom is white except tarsi which will be in striped black. The upper breast has a broad black band which separates the white bottom and grey face. The pale grey head is crowned with a double crest. The Iris of the bird will be grey or brown or red, the tarsi and toes are yellow, the cere and bill are black in color. Both male and female species have identical plumage. The total length of the eagle may measure from 86.5 to 107 cm, and the average weight of the male is between 4.4 to 4.8 kg, and the female is about 7.3 to 8.3 kg. IUCN has considered the Harpy Eagle as a near-threatened species.
Weight: Male (4.4 – 4.8 kg) / Female (7.35 – 8.3 kg)
Length: 86.5 to 107 cm
Conservation status: Near Threatened (Population decreasing)
Scientific name: Harpia harpyja
Species: H. harpyja
Wingspan: 176 to 224 cm
Species of Harpy Eagle
Harpy Eagle is the only member of the genus Harpia. Harpy Eagle is closely related to the crested eagle and the New Guinea harpy eagle, these three breeds composes the subfamily Harpiinae under the large family Accipitridae.
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Conservation of Harpy Eagle
Harpy Eagles are admitted as a Near Threatened creature by IUNC and threatened with extinction by Cites. Then the Peregrine Fund has recently declared it as a “conservation-dependent species”. To prevent it from reaching the endangered status, they have taken several measures. In the regions of Mexico and Central America, the harpy eagle is considered a critically endangered species.
Interesting Facts about Harpy Eagle
- The major two threats of the Harpy Eagles are habitat loss and hunting. In the olden days, these birds were mostly found in the southern parts of Mexico over Central and South America to northern Argentina, but now they have been destroyed from many areas.
- The amazing vision of this bird can view something that is less than 1 inch away from 200 meters. Then the deadly talons of this breed can break the bones of the prey by exerting several hundred pounds of pressure.
- Harpy Eagles are diurnal birds that will be active during the daytime.
- It is a carnivore species that feeds on sloths, monkeys, baby deer, coatimundis, javelinas, agoutis, porcupines, armadillos, raccoons, and parrots.
- The Harpy Eagle doesn’t hunt every day. It hunts large prey and stores them in trees to eat it two days once.
- These eagles mate for a lifetime and also shares their parental duties. Moreover, it produces children once every two or three years. Female eagles are larger than male birds.
- It usually builds the nest 130 feet above the ground level. Male and female birds jointly build their nest, and it will be around 6 feet long and a foot deep. These birds bring fresh green twigs regularly to keep their nest clean.
- It lays 1 or 2 eggs and incubates for 55 days. During incubation, the male bird will participate occasionally, but the major work is to get food for the chick in the nest.
- After hatching, it reaches the adult size within 5 to 6 months. Now the young bird will fly and just in a couple of days it will be an expert in air. At the age of 1 to 2 years, the bird is ready for its independent life.
- The total life span of the Harpy Eagle is around 25 to 35 years in the wild.
Harpy Eagle Images
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