The massive Harpy Eagle is the largest of its sort with claws that are bigger than a bear’s. It has an impressive face and feathers that have grey and black tones. They can reach a height up to 3 feet and 5 inches and an overall wingspan up to 7 feet and 4 inches. Needless to say, these are incredible extraordinary creatures.
To give you an idea of the size of the animal; a female Bald Eagle is about 12 pounds on average, while the female Harpy Eagle weighs between 13 to 20 pounds. Male Harpy Eagles are smaller than the females, they weight between 9 to 13 pounds. Its grey, black and white feathers are the same for both males and females. You might expect their wings to be equally large as the rest of their bodies, but that is actually not the case. Their wingspan is a little shorter than some other eagles’ wings. The reason is their habitat. The Harpy Eagle lives in tropical lowland rainforests in South and Middle America. The shorter wings help them navigate better in the forest, whereas other eagles fly mostly in open areas. But what could be even more intimidating might be their claws. Their claws are actually bigger than those of a bear, and measure 5 inches in length. No other eagle has claws that big.
They have incredible power and easily snatch the eagles pray. Besides this, the eagle can also fly up to 50 miles per hour so it’s no issue for them to swoop in and grab their meal. These preys consist of monkeys and sloths among others. Because the bird doesn’t hunt its prey for long distances, they preserve energy to give them the ability to prey on small animals that weigh up to 17 pounds. They can sit silently for hours waiting for prey to come by. Unfortunately, the Harpy Eagle is becoming rarer all over Latin America because of the diminishing rainforests. This is bad news for the eagle (and us) because the Harpy Eagles are monogamous and have just on little eaglet every two years.
Even a slight change in numbers can make it hard for the population of the species to recover. This also has consequences for the ecosystem, seeing that the hunting of animals like Capuchin monkeys keeps the population naturally regulated. These monkeys eat eggs from birds nests and if there are too many of these monkeys, other species can go extinct as well.