Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja)2
Undoubtedly one of the most majestic Amazon birds, the harpy eagle is over a metre tall, and has a wingspan of 2 m. Its legs and feet are extraordinarily thick and powerful, while the head has a tall, blackish-grey crest of feathers. Females are about a third larger than males.
There is almost no prey too large for the harpy eagle, which feeds on monkeys (less than one-third of its diet), sloths (more than one-third of its diet) and birds.
Harpy eagles spend considerable amounts of time perched and listening. Having identified a prey, they glide toward it with claws extended and grab the victim as they swoop. Because of their larger size, females attack larger prey than males.
Although the species ranges from the rainforests of southern Central America to those of the Amazon, it is very difficult to find within this vast area. Deforestation is taking away their only habitat, and as a result, populations are declining. As the eagles are scattered over a wide area, it is impossible to obtain an accurate population estimate.
The harpy eagle is classified as Near Threatened
by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species3