Meet The NBA Player Size Harpy Eagle

What's in a Name?

The harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) is not named after "happy," as some think. South American explorers named it after Greek Harpies, gods with human heads and bird bodies.

Home of the Harpy Eagle

The harpy eagle is native to Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, and northeast Argentina. Mexico and Central America have fewer birds. 


This hunting carnivore and apex predator has a wingspan of 5.75–7.3 feet and can reach 50 mph. Harpies are 40 inches tall. Males weigh 9–11 pounds and females 13–20 pounds.


Harpy eagles typically eat sloths, monkeys, porcupines, squirrels, opossums, anteaters, armadillos, and kinkajous, among other tiny creatures. Harpies also eat parrots, iguanas, tegus, and snakes.

How the Harpy Hunts

The practice of hunting from a perch at a great height is called "perch hunting," and it is used by harpy eagles. This enables the eagle to look around for prey that could be resting nearby.

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Because it has such acute hearing and vision, the bird is able to detect its prey even when it is several hundred feet away from it.

When they find an animal that isn't paying attention to them, they immediately move in for the kill with their enormous claws and take it out.

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