Friday, July 20, 2012

Harpy Eagles - Predators Of The Rainforest

It's natural that Americans tend to picture eagles only as bald eagles, the majestic symbol of our country. We forget that are other kinds of eagles, and not all of them look as regal (or as friendly) as the baldies. Especially the harpy eagle.

Come on, doesn't he look mean? We wouldn't want to mess with him!

The harpy eagle is the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas, with adults weighing between 6 to 11 pounds. Harpy eagles live in the rainforest and are at the top of the food chain. They hunt from the tree canopy, feeding on small, tree-dwelling mammals such as sloths and monkeys. Their talons are extremely powerful and can kill prey within second. These talons also make the eagles capable of picking up and flying with prey that weighs the same as them.

A few random facts about the harpy eagle: It is the national bird of Panama and is depicted on the Panamanian coat of arms (looking more like a bald eagle, though). The harpy eagle was also the inspiration behind the design for Phawkes, the phoenix in the "Harry Potter" series.

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