Birds are one of the coolest species in the entire animal kingdom. They remind us of prehistoric times almost better than any fossil. There’s so much we can learn about our past from birds.
You’ve seen some pretty strange and exotic birds here before, all with incredible qualities that make them stand out from their fellow feathered kind. But among the birds of prey around the world, none are as mighty as the harpy eagle.
These hulking creatures are large and in charge, and they do things a bit… differently than the rest of the bird kingdom. When you learn what makes them stand out from other birds, you will be impressed, though maybe a bit intimidated!
The harpy eagle is the largest and most powerful eagle, and can grow up to 42 inches long. Look at how big that harpy eagle pictured below is in comparison to the adult man posed beside him. He’s absolutely huge!
Their wingspan can reach a record seven-and-a-half feet. Can you imagine what it would feel like to see a creature with a wingspan like that flying in your direction? Most people would run for the hills at the first sighting!Facebook/Sun Gazing
And their massive talons are about 3-4 inches long – the size of a grizzly bear’s claws. That’s right, a grizzly bear! This begs the question, who would win in a fight: a harpy eagle or a grizzly bear? Hopefully, the world never finds out.
And make no mistake; they use those talons to prey on and dismember primates. Makes a person a little bit nervous considering how primate-like human beings are when push comes to shove! Those tremendous talons could stop any primate in their tracks.
These birds have evolved to specialize in hunting monkeys and sloths. These animals are not easy targets, but they do make a good meal, so it does make sense that they would be good eating for the bird considered to be the king of the birds of prey.
The harpy eagle can spot its prey from miles away thanks to the species’ keen eyesight. After they set their sights on their intended target, the eagle will swoop in at great speeds, snatching them from trees mid-flight. In other words, if you’re a monkey, these eagles are pure nightmare fuel.
Wikimedia Commons/Jitze Couperus
While there is no doubt that you don’t want to be the victim on the other end of the harpy eagle’s claws, that doesn’t mean you cannot appreciate their incredible beauty and strength. What a striking creature… in every sense of the word.
Learning about the harpy eagle is pretty easy to do on paper, but you will never get a real sense of the bird until you actually see it in action. Watch this entire video below to see what a harpy eagle really looks like.
These harpy eagles may be intimidating, but they are definitely one of the wonders of the natural world!
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