Harpy Eagle (Pen & ink by Narca)
Spectacular Harpy Eagles are among the world's most powerful, largest raptors. A female stands over 3 feet tall and has a wingspan of about 6.5 feet. Sloths comprised the bulk of their diet in one study, supplemented by the occasional monkey, coati, kinkajou, or opossum. Harpies are critically endangered over much of their vast range. Intensive efforts to monitor the species have turned up about 60 nesting locales, almost all within the Amazon Basin.
Chicks fledge in about 6 months, then spend another 6 to 10 months dependent on their parents, as they learn the skills they need to survive in the rainforest. That timing gives me hope that the Harpy Eagles under Ron's watchful gaze will still be in the area when our Naturalist Journeys group goes to Guyana next November 15-24. (We still have a spot or two on the trip if you're interested! Check out the itinerary at www.naturalistjourneys.com/jcalendar/jc_guyana10.htm.)