The Harpy Eagle



The Harpy Eagle is a native to Central and South America.. It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, and one of the largest types of eagles in the world.

It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper canopy layer. Destruction of its natural habitat has seen it vanish from many parts of its former range, and it is almost extinct in Central America.


The Harpy Eagle is an actively hunting carnivore and is at the top of a his food chain, and so has no natural predators.

Its main prey are tree-dwelling mammals such as sloths, monkeys, coatis, porcupines, kinkajous, anteaters and opossums.


The Harpy's talons are extremely powerful and assist with suppressing prey. The Harpy Eagle can exert a pressure of 42 kgf/cm² with its talons.

It can also lift more than three-quarters of its body weight. That allows the bird to snatch a live sloth from tree branches, as well as other huge prey items: There are accounts of Harpys capturing and flying off with howler monkeys and sloths weighing up to 7.7 kg (17 lb).


The Harpy can streamline his head in flight, or he can "dish" his face like an owl when perched - it is thought that this helps with aural detection of prey.