Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Sturdy Harpy Eagles

These kind of eagles are one of the largest eagles we have in the world today. As usual, like in almost all birds of prey, the females are larger in size than the males. Harpy eagles can grow at least forty inches. Females are much heavier in weight than males. The females will weigh between 13 to 20 pounds. Males will weigh only between nine to 11 pounds. They have the ability to change positions quickly while they are flying and about to attack their prey. This gives them a big advantage because they have to move around in dense forested areas. Their scientific name is Aguila harpia. Their wingspans are about seven feet. The color of their feathers on their wings are dark gray. Their wings are well rounded and quite large. The origin of their name is derived from Greek  mythology, referring to the eagle as fierce winged creatures with razor sharp claws.
Their feathers above their heads are neutral purplish black and the feathers underneath are white to light gray. They have a black band of feathers that start from their chests up to their necks. Their tails have lengthy feathers and parallel bars. The legs of these birds of prey are fully covered with light gray feathers. The feathers appearing on their feet are colored yellow. Both the heads of females and males have double crested large faint gray colors. Their crests start to appear when they are acting in an antagonistic manner or when they are alerted. Their face resembles that of an owl. Harpy eagles have colored dark brown eyes. The color of their hooked bills are gray. Their hooked bills are very strong.
These eagles will mate only once in their entire life. They will build their nests in tall trees, forty meters above ground. These eagles will build their nests using sticks that are loose and leaves that are fresh..They will lay two eggs. When the first one hatches, they won't mind the other egg. Incubation period will take about 52 to 56 days. The parents will feed the chick for about 10 months. They will start to have feathers and leave their nests when they reach four and a half to six months. They will not leave the territory of their parents for one year.

These birds hunt during daytime. They will feed on monkeys, rodents, large reptiles,sloths and other medium sized and large mammals that live on trees. They also hunt other birds. While flying,they can go as fast as 50 miles per hour. The males will hunt smaller animals. They have to hunt animals that weigh half their size. Their life span is about 25 to 35 years. The Harpy Eagles can be found in the rainforests of South and Central America. They can be found in Brazil, Ecuador, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Northeast Argentina and Peru.

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