Meet the Harpy Eagle, a Bird so Large, Some Think it’s a Human in a Costume

Birds usually come in small sizes and that is how we perceive them, but nature can bring many surprises like the Harpy eagle. This bird is so huge that will make you terrified just by watching at it.

Harpy eagle is a bird with huge proportions with expressive face, a collar of feathers, and black and grey tones. It is a striking and impressive creature and for the right reason as it is one of the largest and most powerful eagles on the planet.

This winged creature is gigantic and on second glance some people even find it looking hilarious, but it remains the fact that this bird is a hunter that amazes us with its huge size.

The natural habitat of harpy eagles is in the upper canopy of tropical lowland rainforests from Mexico to Brazil and northern Argentina. In Nature there are two kinds of harpy eagles: the American and the Papuan kind.

This bird is mentioned in an ancient Greek myth from where the name comes from. In this myth there is a beast with a human face, but with a body of an eagle, used as a personification of storm winds. In addition to this, this bird, according to Greek mythology, accompanies the dead to the underworld.

The Swedish physician, zoologist and botanist, Carl Linnaeus, also known as the “father of taxonomy” is the first person that described this eagle as the “harpy vulture” in the mid-18th century.

Despite its huge appearance people like these birds and frequently check all of the photos on social media. They even comment that this huge bird resembles a person wearing a costume.

But, although looking hilarious, you do not want to mess up with a creature of this size as in Brazil; the harpy eagle is recognized under the name of “the imperial bird of prey”. They are the largest, most dominant raptors in rainforests around the world. They weigh 8.5 to 20 pounds, or in kilograms 3.8 to 9kgs, but the length of their wings can reach up to 7 feet and 4 inches, or in centimeters 224 cm, which makes them among the biggest eagles on the planet.

As we mentioned before, the physical appearance of these birds is striking, looking genuine and ridiculous at the same time. Their face is very strange and they have very big claws. However, they can eat bigger prey than the other little flying creatures such as monkeys, macaws, tree porcupines, sloths, coatis, snakes, lizards, and so on.

The common place of residence of these birds is in the upper covering layer of tropical swamp woods. However, as a result of the rainforest deforestation their habitat is being slowly but surely destroyed and they have become a rare species in Latin America.

At the moment, their count dropped to less than 50,000 in the whole world. Yet, we can still see them in zoos and nature reserves across North and South America.