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Enormous Harpy Eagle Has Powerful Claws

There are lots of amazing creatures on this planet, including the beautiful Bald Eagle, which majestically represents the United States as a symbol of freedom. However, though it is an amazing species, there are many species of eagles in the world, including the Harpy Eagle.

The Harpy Eagle can be found from southern Mexico through Central and South America all the way down to northern Argentina.

Like many species, their habitat is threatened by humans, and their numbers are shrinking.

According to, “Harpy Eagles are among the world’s largest and most powerful eagles.

Their rear talons are about 3-4 inches long – the same size as a grizzly bear’s claws!” Believe it or not, it’s those huge talons and the size and shape of their feet that determine the Harpy Eagle’s diet.

“A raptor’s feet determine what it eats. One look at a Harpy Eagle’s foot leaves no doubt that these birds are built for hunting good-sized prey. Their powerful legs and feet and long, sharp talons are designed to catch prey that would be off-limits for most other birds. Two-foot-long Howler Monkeys (not including their tails), eight-pound sloths, even baby deer are all on this eagle’s menu.”

Even though the Harpy Eagle is an incredibly large, fast, and powerful predator, it still has to be cautious when hunting smaller prey that you wouldn’t think would be much of a challenge.

Sloths may be slow and certain monkey species may be rather small, but they have sharp claws and teeth that can injure any predator, including the imposing Harpy Eagle. Any injury could easily become infected which is a huge danger to its survival.

Harpy Eagles are known to construct nests of large sticks and branches and they are excellent parents to their small, but fast-growing chicks.

“A newly hatched Harpy Eagle chick is so small that it fits perfectly into the palm of a person’s hand.

In only 5-6 months, though, it will reach adult size! Because the chick grows so quickly, it needs to eat a lot and it needs to eat often.

When the chick is very young, the mother will tear off small pieces of meat for the chick and delicately feed it with her bill. Later, as the chick grows, it will be able to tear off and eat the meat on its own.

At around 5-6 months of age, the young eagle will fledge, or fly for the first time.

Its first few flights might be shaky and awkward, but after only a few days, it will be flying almost as well as its parents.”

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