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Newsletter - Issue 59
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Guyana DESTINATION > Harpy Eagle
Harpy Eagle
The Harpy Eagle, sometimes known as the American Harpy Eagle, is a Neotropical species of eagle.

Powered by WikipediaThe Harpy Eagle, sometimes known as the American Harpy Eagle, is a Neotropical species of eagle. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Vultur harpyja. It is the only member of the genus Harpia.
It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, and among the largest extant species of eagles in the world. It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper (emergent) canopy layer.

Its name refers to the harpies of Ancient Greek mythology. These were wind spirits that took the dead to Hades, and were said to have a body like an eagle and the face of a human.
The upper side of the Harpy Eagle is covered with slate black feathers, and the underside is with white. There is a black band across the chest up to the neck. The head is pale grey, and is crowned with a double crest. The plumage of male and female is identical. The talons are up to 13 cm (5 in) long.

Female Harpy Eagles typically weigh 6.5 kg to 9 kg (14 to 20 lbs). One exceptional captive female, "Jezebel", weighed 12.3 kg (26 lb), possibly because of relative lack of exercise and readily available food at a zoo. The male, in comparison, weighs only about 3.8 kg to 5.4 kg (8.5 lb to 12 lb). Harpy Eagles are 89-105 cm (2.94-3.43 ft) long and have a wingspan of approximately 200 cm (6 ft, 7 in). Among extant species, only the Philippine Eagle and the Steller's Sea Eagle approach similar dimensions, although the wingspan of the Harpy Eagle is relatively small (an adaptation that increases maneuverability in forested habitats) and is matched or surpassed by other species. The extinct Haast's Eagle was significantly larger than the Harpy.

Harpy Eagle

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