A large, strong, predatory bird that is one of a kind is a South American harpi. The animal belongs to the family of hawks and enjoys not quite good fame. Our ancestors believed that one powerful attack of the Harpy is able to crush the skull of a person. In addition, the behavior of the bird is characterized as irritable and aggressive. Most often, you can meet the animal in the territory of South and Central America, as well as in Brazil and Mexico.
South American predators grow up to 110 cm in length, the weight of the body of the birds is 4-9 kg. Females of animals are much larger than males. A characteristic feature of the predator is the feathers of a light brown tint located on the head (the beak of the harpies of the same color). The legs of the animal have a yellow color, powerful claws grow on each of them. Unique paws of animals allow lifting heavy weight, for example, a small dog or a young roe deer.
The back of the bird has long feathers that it can raise, which creates the impression of a “hood”. A big and frightening head gives the predator a more formidable look. Young individuals have a white belly and a dark wide collar located on the neck.
Harpies are very strong animals. The scope of their wings can reach two meters. Birds frighten with their black eyes and bent beak. There is an opinion that raising feathers on the back of the head, Garpy better hears.
Animal behavior and diet
Representatives of the hawk family are active in daylight hours. They are eagerly looking for prey and can find it even in dense thickets. Birds have excellent hearing and vision. Harpy refers to large predators, but this does not prevent her from maneuvering and easily move. Predators prefer to hunt alone, but live in pairs for many years.
Adults equip themselves with a nest. As a material, they use thick branches, leaves, moss. A feature of reproduction is that the female lays only one egg once every two years.
The most beloved delicacy of South American Harpy is primates and sloths. That is why some call animals “monkeyeaters”. In addition, birds can feed on other feathered, rodents, lizards, young deer, nosokhi, murderers. Predators catch the sacrifice with their powerful paws and claws. Due to the fact that the harpies are at the top of the food ecosystem, they have no enemies.
Features of reproduction
Predatory flying birds are mastered on high trees (at an altitude of up to 75 m above the ground). The diameter of the harpium socket can be 1.5 m. The female lays eggs in April-May. Offspring for 56 days. The development of young chicks is very slow. Kids do not leave the parent’s nest for a long time. Even at the age of 8-10 months, the cub is not able to independently get his food. A feature is that birds can do without food for up to 14 days without harming their body. At the age of 5-6 years, young individuals reach puberty.
Interesting facts about harpies
South American Harpy a skilled and strong predator. The animal has claws 10 cm long, which makes them an excellent weapon. Harpies are considered the only predators that can cope with porcupines. Excessively aggressive birds can even attack humans.
To date, there are not so many forest eagles left, they gradually disappear from our planet. The main reason for this tragedy is the destruction of forests, where predators nest. In addition, the harpies have a very slow pace of reproduction, which also does not benefit animals. At the moment, birds are listed in the Red Book.