Free World - September 14, 2021

Photo by Karine Aigner @kaigner / A female harpy eagle examines an armadillo pre…


Photo by Karine Aigner @kaigner / A female harpy eagle examines an armadillo presented to her by her mate. There are few words that can describe what it’s like to be on a platform high in the rainforest canopy, 80 feet (25 m) away but at eye level with one of the world’s most powerful raptors. The harpy is one of the largest eagles, with a wingspan of 6.5 feet (nearly two meters), rear talons up to four inches (10 cm) long, and a weight of 9 to 20 pounds (4 to 9 kg). The female is twice the size of the male. This magnificent predator inhabits the highest treetops of the canopy, an elusive hunter with legs as thick as human wrists. It feeds on sloths, two-foot-long howler monkeys, armadillos, baby deer, and even peccaries. The harpy spends two years raising just one chick, and they’re threatened by severe habitat loss and other human-related activity. Read about the efforts of @evertonbpmiranda to help save the harpy eagle from extinction in the October 2020 issue of @natgeo.



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