Thursday, May 23, 2019

Osprey Hawk

The Osprey is a unique bird that is unmistakable when seen at close range. It is the only species in its family, and it is found worldwide. Its breast and belly are mostly white, with some dark streaks.

The white extends out the wings, but the primaries, secondaries, and tail feathers are mottled black-and-white. The back is mostly black or dark brown.

The head is distinctive with a white crest, a face bisected by a dark eye-stripe, and yellow eyes.

While there is much variation, the female tends to have a streakier breast than the male.

The Osprey's talons are uniquely adapted for catching and carrying fish: their surfaces are rough, and their toes can be held with three forward and one back, or with two forward and two back, an arrangement seen in owls but not in other diurnal raptors.

In flight, they are most often confused with gulls because of their long wings, which are bent at the wrist. However Ospreys have a bounce to their flight that gulls lack.

Osprey T-Shirts

About Harpy Eagles: World’s Most Powerful Eagle (Harpia harpyja)

1. Where does the harpy eagle live?

In the wild, the harpy eagle’s range is found from Mexico through Central America and all the way down to northern Argentina in South America.

2. What is the habitat of the harpy eagle?

The harpy eagle prefers hanging out in the canopy treetops of lowland tropical rain forests. This large eagle species requires big trees and wide territories in order for its numbers to flourish.

3. Where do harpy eagles nest?

Harpies build their nests high in the tallest trees of the jungle. They construct their nests with hundreds of sticks and branches as well as plants and animal fur. By the time they are finished, a nest can be large enough for a grown human to sleep comfortably. Harpy eagles often use the same nest over and over, adding more materials to it each time so that it becomes enormous.

4. What does the harpy eagle look like?

As one of the largest and most powerful raptors in the world, the harpy eagle looks pretty intimidating. In addition to its large body and broad wingspan, it has massive talons, and legs that are each as thick as a human wrist. It has a gray head that is crowned with a double crest of feathers that fan out when the harpy feels threatened, or if he just wants to strut his stuff. It also has a sharp beak that is long and curved. Like an owl, the harpy has facial disk feathers that can be lowered or lifted at will. This helps direct sound waves to the harpy’s ears much the same way as when you cup your hand around your ear. The harpy’s chest, back and upper wings are a charcoal color while the belly is white. Adding a unique flare to the harpy’s appearance are black and white striped legs and a black/white barred tail.

5. How tall is a harpy eagle?

An adult harpy eagle grows between 35 and 41 inches (89 and 105 cm).

6. How much does a harpy eagle weigh?

An adult female can weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kg). This is about two times heavier than the male which weighs up to around 12 pounds (5.4 kg). For scale, here’s an old video showing how large it is next to Jeff Corwin. Sorry it’s a little fuzzy – it’s worth it to see just how large they are.

7. What is the harpy eagle’s wingspan?

A harpy eagle’s wingspan ranges from 5.9 to 7.4 feet (176 to 224 cm). Did you get that? This means that from wing tip to wing tip, the harpy’s wingspan is longer than most adult humans are tall.

8. Are harpy eagles bigger than bald eagles?

Yes, they are. Whereas bald eagles reach a height of about 37 inches (94 cm) and weigh up to 14 pounds (6.35 kg), harpy eagles measure a height of 41 inches (105 cm) and a weight up to 20 pounds (9 kg).

9. How big are harpy eagle talons?

The adult harpy eagle’s talon is about 5 inches (13 cm). To give you an idea of just how large that is, a grizzly bear’s front claw just 2-4 inches!

10. How did the harpy eagle get its name?

The harpy eagle gets its name from a beast in ancient Greek mythology that featured the face of a human and the body of an eagle, and was the personification of storm winds. This mythological beast was believed to accompany the dead to the underworld. Carl Linnaeus, the “father of taxonomy” and Swedish physician, zoologist and botanist, was the first to describe this eagle as the “harpy vulture” in the mid-18th century.

11. How strong is the harpy eagle?

The harpy eagle’s legs and talons are so strong that it can exert more than a 110 pounds (50 kg) of pressure to quickly crush the bones of its prey. The harpy’s powerful talons have been compared to the jaws of a Rottweiler dog.

12. How much can the harpy eagle lift?

A female harpy eagle can fly through the canopy and snatch up a 17-pound (7.7kg) monkey out of the trees without missing a beat.

13. What is the world’s strongest eagle?

This is debated. Depending on how you rate them, both the harpy eagle and the African crowned eagle have been considered the world’s strongest eagle. And while the crowned eagle is Africa’s strongest eagle, most sources list the harpy eagle as the world’s strongest.

14. What’s the national bird of Panama?

The harpy eagle is both the national bird and featured on the coat of arms for Panama.

15. Are harpy eagles friendly? Aggressive?

Well, the harpy eagle is not exactly friendly, but it’s not exactly aggressive either. Conservationists say that a harpy eagle will sit on a perch and allow a human to approach it, but it’s doubtful it would allow you to reach out and pet it. Ranking at the top of the food chain, side-by-side with anacondas and jaguars, the harpy eagle has no reason to act afraid. However, it will behave aggressive if anything comes near its nest. But, all parents are like that, aren’t they?

16. How long do harpy eagles live? Lifespan

Harpy eagles can live anywhere from 25 to 35 years in the wild.

17. What eats a harpy eagle? Predators and Threats

As mentioned above, these eagles share the head of the food chain with jaguars and anacondas, so nothing really eats them. Unfortunately, they are threatened by human hunters who shoot them for sport. Plus, years of logging and deforestation have destroyed their nests and habitats so that their range is not as wide as it was in the past. Their population numbers are difficult to replace since they only breed every two years.

18. Are the harpy eagles real?

If you’ve read this far, you know that they are real. But rumors exist that these are only mythological creatures. The idea that harpy eagles are just a legend might be because they are rarely seen. They occupy large territories that compose hundreds of acres but seldom stray far from their nests. This is why you don’t see them that much.

19. Are harpy eagles extinct?

No, harpy eagles are not extinct. But due to habitat loss and hunters, many of their numbers have been eliminated from areas they once occurred in such as El Salvador. In Belize, only a single nesting pair of harpy eagles has been observed.

20. Is the harpy eagle endangered?

No, the harpy eagle is not endangered, but it is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

21. What do harpy eagles eat?

The diet of harpy eagles consists mainly of tree-dwelling animals such a monkeys (including pygmy marmosets), sloths, opossums, iguanas, and snakes. They will also eat large birds like curassows and macaws. Females often take larger prey while the males may take smaller animals more frequently. This team strategy ensures adequate food on a regular basis. When hunting, they will take heavier prey to a nearby tree stump and eat some of it before carrying the rest to their nest. Harpy eagles don’t need to eat every day. In fact, they can go a week without food. They will often feed on the same prey for a few days at a time even if has already begun to rot.

22. Do harpy eagles eat snakes?

Yes, harpy eagles eat snakes, along with a selection of mammals and other birds. While they wouldn’t likely hunt an adult emerald tree boa, their young make a nice meal.

23. How do harpy eagles hunt?

Harpy eagles hunt during the day. They don’t hunt above the rain forest like other eagles. Instead, they sit on a perch for hours at a time, waiting for prey to happen along. Harpy eagles have excellent vision, so they can spot a bird or monkey nearly 220 yards (200 m) away. When they do set their sights on a potential meal, they fly below the forest canopy, taking chase up to a speed of 50/mph. Once they quickly catch up to the animal, they swoop down and snatch it up with their powerful talons.

Harpy Eagle T-shirts