What’s the biggest animal you can think of? An elephant? A blue whale? Okay, well this bird isn’t quite that big, but it’s big for a bird. It challenges the mighty albatross in wingspan and stands nearly as tall as a person. The incredible harpy eagle is simply huge.
Aside from its imposing stature, it looks mean as heck. Its glare just says “I eat people like you for breakfast”, and I for one would believe it! But at the same time, it kind of looks like a made-up bird. Like a 70s science fiction villain, a Pokémon, or something escaped from Area 51.
However, its claws make it look a lot more serious. Despite its kind of goofy features, there is not a lot of fun in this harpy eagle. Harpy eagles live in the tops of trees in tropical and sub-tropical rainforests. As such, they are mostly found in central and South America. However, as their habitats are destroyed, their numbers dwindle. Now there are fewer than 50,000 left in the wild.
In its native Brazil, they have an even cooler name for it, though. They call it the royal-hawk. Which do you prefer? I think the Brazilian version is better personally.
Luckily for us humans, harpy eagles generally go for smaller prey. “Monkeys, tree porcupines, sloths, coatis, birds, snakes, lizards, etc.” However, we’re pretty sure those huge claws could do some damage to a person in the wrong place at the wrong time!
This is one of the weirdest and most wonderful creatures we’ve ever seen. But, as with many rare birds and animals, it is slowly going extinct. It must be hard to find bird sanctuaries large enough to house their huge >7′ wingspans and bigger flying areas, though.