Harpy eagle looking off to the right with its crown feathers flared.

Harpy eagle

Bold and beautiful





South America

South America

Endangered Status



35 to 41
inches tall
An average soccer ball is 8.65 inches tall.
Harpy eagle standing next to a soccer ball

Harpy eagles eat monkeys, sloths, opossums, porcupines, young deer, snakes, and iguanas.

rain forests
Rainforest habitat leaves


Harpy eagle perched on tree branch

Powerful birds

The legs of a harpy eagle can be as thick as a small child's wrist, and its curved talons are longer than a grizzly bear's claws! It may not be the largest bird of prey (that title belongs to the Andean condor), but it is definitely the heaviest and most powerful of birds.

Harpy eagle perched, looking down with wings about to spread open.

On the hunt

Harpy eagles are fast, agile flyers. They fly low over the rain forest and use their great talons to snatch up monkeys and sloths that can weigh up to 17 pounds! These birds are patient hunters: a harpy eagle will perch silently for hours in a tree, waiting to drop on unsuspecting prey.

Harpy eagle with feathers flared.

Threats in the wild

You would think that the massive harpy eagle is invincible. But years of hunting, logging, destruction of nesting sites, and poaching have wiped out this bird in many areas. San Diego Zoo Global is working with other groups to help harpy eagles in the wild.

Harpy eagles are found from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.