A picture of a man standing next to a Harpy eagle went viral, instilling fear and wonder in people all around the world. But there’s more to be amazed about with these bird species than simply their striking appearance.
One of the biggest and strongest eagle species is the harpy eagle. These raptors may reach lengths of up to 42 inches, and their wingspan can reach a maximum of 7.5 feet. Female Harpy Eagles can grow to be up to twice as large as their male partners, weighing up to 20 pounds. Simply think: a grizzly bear’s claws are the same size as just its rear talons, which are around 3-4 inches long!
These stunning birds, who are the national bird of Panama, are mostly found in Central and South American jungles. The harpy can run at 50 mph when engaged in a severe hunting pursuit.
This eagle might easily kidnap a human infant since harpies are so strong that they can snag up monkeys and sloths that weigh up to 17 pounds with their enormous talons. The moral of the story is to never tamper with these birds and to never irritate them.
Oh, and another awesome thing about these birds is that Fawkes the Phoenix’s design in the Harry Potter film series was first inspired by them.
Since harpy eagles are an endangered species, wildlife conservation initiatives are assisting in their continued habitation of Panama’s sky.