HARPY EAGLE. Harpia harpyja
IDENTIFICATION. The head is light grey in colour with a prominent black bill and dark eyes. A double crest of grey feathers is held erect when the eagle is posturing. The top of the abdomen has a deep black band that circles the body with a white split on the front of the chest. The lower abdomen is white. The feathered part of the legs is white with black barring.
DISTRIBUTION. A bird of lowland rainforests from Mexico down through Northern South America.
FOOD. Mammals such as Monkeys and Sloth's. Occasional reptiles.
BREEDING. September-November. 2 eggs laid in a large nest in the forest canopy, but only 1 chick survives. Fledging takes place at 6 months old. The chick may stay with the parents for a year or more.
SIZE. 91-102cm (36-40ins)
WINGSPAN. 213cm (7ft)
WEIGHT. 5-9Kg (10-20lbs)
Sometimes flown in the UK as a display bird the Harpy Eagle is probably best left to those who really know what they are doing and have access to large tracks of land. If you are thinking of taking up an eagle find an (eagle) experienced Austringer and study hard.