Harpy Eagle

General information

  • Genus: Harpia
  • Species: Harpyja
  • Also known as: American Harpy Eagle, Harpy, Jungle Eagle
  • Average length: 86.5 – 107 cm (34 – 42 in.), wingspan 1.8 – 2.2 m (6 – 7.2 ft.)
  • Adult weight: Females: 7.6 – 9 kg (16.8 – 20 lb.), Males: 4 – 4.8 kg (9 – 10.6 lb.)
  • Diet: Vary varied but mostly tree dwelling species, primarily sloths and monkeys but also porcupines, anteaters, parrots and macaws. Sometimes preys on agoutis, collared peccaries, snakes, lizards and fish.
  • Natural predators: None (top of the food chain)
  • Lifespan in the wild: Unknown
  • Clutch size: Two eggs though one of them is normally ignored.
  • Natural habitat: Large uninterrupted stretches of lowland tropical forest. Up to 900 m (3,000 ft.) and locally to 2,000 m. (6,500 ft.)
  • Geographical range: Rare throughout extensive range, from southern Mexico to Bolivia, from Ecuador to Guyana and from south-eastern Brazil to north-eastern Argentina

Interesting Harpy Eagle facts

  • It is such a powerful bird that it has been seen picking up animals such as sloths of over 6 kg (13 lb.).
  • Their extremely powerful claws (“talons”) can be as large as a grizzly bear’s.
  • Female Harpy Eagles are about twice the weight of males and accordingly hunt significantly larger prey.
  • In the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, they are often seen harassing macaws and parrots at claylicks.
  • The Harpy Eagle’s white, grey and black plumage takes about four years to completely form.
  • The name “harpy” is thought to come from an ancient Greek mythological creature that had sharp claws, a woman’s face and a vulture’s body. The word means “that which snatches”.
  • It is the national bird of Panama and presides over its coat of arms.

IUCN conservation assessment

  • Estimated world population: Less than 50,000
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened
  • Population trend: Decreasing


  • Schulenberg, T. S. 2009. Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online
  • BirdLife International 2012. Harpia Harpyja. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 09 May 2013
Harpy Eagle in Tambopata

Harpy Eagle in Tambopata

Baby Harpy Eagle Chick in Tambopata

Baby Harpy Eagle Chick in Tambopata