|during our travels we frequently see domestic hens raising young
forest birds or even brooding the eggs.
Harpies eat monkeys, sloths, coatis, large birds and snakes. When
mature its curved talons will be as long as a grizzly bear’s claws. Its
wings will be broad, rounded, and short compared to body length and
tail. It will swoop through the jungle like a hawk, pick a monkey off a
branch, and crush it on contact, fly into the nearest tall tree and strip
the bones clean. The female is much larger than the male and weighs
up to 20 pounds, the largest, most powerful bird of prey in the world.
I think the scarcity and rarity of this species, has been exaggerated.
Considering their huge size, they are relatively inconspicuous, staying
primarily within the forest, seldom if ever soaring, and rarely flying
above the canopy. Combine that with living in the areas of some of the
lowest human population density, and they are not often seen, except
flying across the river in front of our boat, or occasionally after a hard
rain, perched on a branch hanging over the river drying and preening.
However, they are scarce enough that not many gringos have held a
harpy eagle in their hands.
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|This is a baby harpy eagle, the
largest, most powerful bird of prey.
We had the opportunity to hold and
photograph this bird while visiting a
village 200 miles from civilization.
A hen, with feathers colored
remarkably the same as the harpy,
was raising it as its chick. A native
boy fed it slivers of raw fish several
times a day. While visiting villages
|Baby Harpy Eagle
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