The most powerful bird of prey in the world
November 8, 2011 Leave a Comment
Watch Nature “Jungle Eagle” 8 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 9 on Wisconsin Public Television.
About last year at this time I discovered the Nature program “American Eagle,” which chronicles a pair of nesting bald eagles in northeast Iowa. It seemed every day I was checking the live webcam to see what the chicks were doing, and I even drove to Iowa to check out the nest! Ok, I happen to have family there so it’s not like I wasn’t obligated to visit. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I’m pretty excited that Nature is about to profile an even bigger, more fierce bird of prey in “Jungle Eagle.”
We’re talking about the harpy eagle, a roughly 10-20 pound bird that lives in the rainforest of Central and South America (bald eagles average 10-14 pounds). Despite its weight, the harpy has relatively short wings that help it maneuver through the rainforest. And, unlike the eagles we’re accustomed to in the Midwest harpy’s don’t hover in search of prey. Instead they scream through the jungle trees at breakneck speeds and feed primarily on tree-dwelling mammals like sloths and monkeys (illustrated in the video below).
Unfortunately I won’t get to observe the harpy eagles like I was able to get up close to the bald eagles. For one, Central America isn’t anywhere near Iowa, but more so, the crew at Nature says harpy eagles are incredibly tough to observe and film in the wild. Luckily we have them to bring us this intimate portrait of this elusive bird of prey.