Harpy eagle distribution, ecology, threats and classification

Harpy eagle

Scientific name: Harpia harpyja


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Accipitriformes

Family: Accipitridae

Subfamily: Harpiinae

Genus: Harpia

Species: Harpia


It is a mythical figure, but few people have ever seen an eagle in its place. These large birds, named after Greek mythology, were beasts, “frightening flying creatures with hook and gossip beaks.”

This dark gray bird has a very distinct appearance, with feathers on its head that turn into a solid sky when the bird feels threatened. Some small gray feathers form a facial disc that can direct sound waves to improve the bird’s hearing, such as that of owls.

Like most eagles, the female “harp” is two times as large as a male. The legs of the harpy eagle can be as dense as a baby’s skin, the hind limbs are larger than the 12-inch [13 cm] cobra! This bird may not be the biggest bird of prey (the name is the Andean eagle), but this amazing creature is the substantial and most dominant of all birds. [1]Harpy eagle – Wikipedia

Ecological importance of Harpy eagle

Harpy Eagles, like wild animals, play a vital part in their communities. They are well-known as umbrellas. Just as many people can be protected from the elements by standing under a large umbrella, so many wild animals can be protected by keeping a single species, such as the Harpy Eagle.

This Eagle is a rainforest species. It survives at low altitudes where it can catch prey and has large trees for nesting. The rainforest home is lavish and energetic and covers the highest biodiversity in the world.

This eagle lives amongst jaguars, macaws, tapirs, monkeys, sloths, snakes, frogs, and many other animals and plants, each performing an imperative role in its environment. [2]https://bioone.org/journals/journal-of-raptor-research/volume-48/issue-1/JRR-13-00017.1/Food-Habits-of-the-Harpy-Eagle-a-Top-Predator-from/10.3356/JRR-13-00017.1.full 

Distribution status

Since ancient times, Harpy Eagles have been found from southern Mexico to Central and South America and northern Argentina. Unfortunately, Harpy Eagles get lost a lot because people are terminating their territory by bombarding them.

In Central America, a large number of known fertility groups are found in Panama, near the Colombian border. These eagles are likely to disappear in El Salvador. The only page in the slot was found in Belize.


Cutting trees and shooting them are the two main intimidations to the continued existence of these eagles. [3]Inter Research » ESR » v29 » n1 » p69-79 (int-res.com)

Other important facts about Harpy eagle

These eagles are some of the most fascinating birds in the world. They come from Mexico to northern Argentina.

With a wingspan of 6.5 m, harpy eagles are the largest eagles in the Americas and are considered the most powerful birds of prey in the Amazon. You can call them American emperors.

Harpy eagles are also known to have nests that are rarely found and hard to find even for skilled locals. This is because their nests are somewhat separate from many rainforests and are carefully hidden in large trees.

They also give birth to only one chicken every two to three years or even one at a time. Eagles with harpy eagles can weigh twice as much as a male.[4]For foto: http://www.birdphotos.com – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3785263

Written by: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Ahsan

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ph.D. (PU)
Post Doctorate

American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA


1Harpy eagle – Wikipedia
3Inter Research » ESR » v29 » n1 » p69-79 (int-res.com)
4For foto: http://www.birdphotos.com – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3785263
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