A photo of a guy posing next to a Harpy eagle has gone viral, inspiring awe and intimidation for people around the world. But, when it comes to these bird species, there’s more to be surprised about than just their impressive looks.
Harpy Eagles are one of the largest and most powerful of all types of eagles. These birds of prey can grow up to 42 inches long, with their wingspan reaching a record 7.5 feet. Harpy Eagles weigh up to 20 pounds, with females being up to twice as big as their mates. Consider this: just their rear talons are about 3-4 inches long – and that’s the same size as a grizzly bear’s claws!
National birds of Panama, these beautiful birds are mostly found in the rainforests of Central and South America. When in a serious hunting chase, the harpy can reach speeds of 50 miles per hour.
Harpies are so powerful, they use their great talons to snatch up monkeys and sloths than weigh up to 17 pounds – so this eagle could easily steal a human baby! The point is, don’t mess with this type of bird and never get on their nerves.
Oh, and one more super cool fact about these birds is that they were the original inspiration for the design of Fawkes the Phoenix in the Harry Potter film series.
However, Harpy eagles are an endangered species, so wildlife conservation programs are helping these majestic birds to roam the Panama skies.