Found in the tropical forests of Central
and South America, including southeastern Mexico to northern
Argentina and southern Brazil, this extremely rare and powerful
is an awesome sight to behold.
Measuring more than 39 inches in height, with a wingspan of 7
feet, this bird has possibly the strongest legs of all raptors.
Studies currently show that the male weighs from 10 to 16 pounds
and the female weighs from 14 to 18 pounds. Its food supply consists
of monkeys, sloths, parrots and some reptiles.
It builds its nest of sticks in high trees (100-120 feet) and
there lays two eggs. The incubation period is approximately 53
to 56 days. Only one chick hatches. The rearing period is from
two to three years.
The bird is named after the Harpies of Greek mythology (half-woman,
half-bird, whose duty it was to seize dead souls).
The Harpy is declining in number due to forest fragmentation,
nesting-site destruction and shooting.
Other sites about Harpies: http://www.peregrinefund.org