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Harpy Eagle

Harpia harpyja

Harpy Eagle

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S.

Harpia harpyja

Brazil; 2 September 2012 © Thiago Calil

The Harpy Eagle is a massive raptor of lowland forests of Central and South America. It has a strong bill and particularly robust tarsi and toes, which coupled with its large body size position the Harpy Eagle the world's most formidable eagle (Brown and Amadon 1968). Although it can capture a variety of prey, Harpy Eagles are notable for hunting primarily medium sized mammals, such as sloths and small monkeys. Although the Harpy Eagle is not considered to be threatened, due to its extensive distribution, its populations are in decline due to habitat loss and to direct persecution. It already has been extirpated from many areas where it formerly was found, especially in northern Central America, and despite its wide distribution the species as a whole is regarded as Near-Threatened by BirdLife International.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S.. 2009. Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Mammals
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Platform
  • Clutch: 2 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Near Threatened