Sightings of rare Amazon wildlife are never guaranteed, however every now and then we get exceptionally lucky. July 22nd was one of those days! At 11 AM on an Aqua Expedition’s cruise excursion in the Yanayacu Pucate Reserve we were lucky enough to see a majestic Harpy Eagle.
Harpy eagles can be found throughout Central to South America and live in the canopies of tropical lowland rainforests such as the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. They are generally found in the mid to upper levels of the canopy, where they use their beady eyes to seek out their preferred prey.
These Amazon birds are solitary and effective hunters, helping to keep their prey’s population in check, particularly in controlling “mesopredators” (mid-level predators) such as capuchin monkeys.
Harpy eagles are the largest species of eagle, with a body length that can range from 89 to 102 cm (33 to 40 inches) and a wing span of 2 meters (6 feet). The female birds are normally larger with an average weight of 8 kg (18 pounds) while the male’s average is 6-7 kg.
These are most often found in pairs as they form monogamous couples that mate for life and are estimated to live 25 to 35 years if they remain healthy. Harpy eagle couples live together in a nest, and chirp to each other as they build their homes.
We were thrilled to see this rare sighting of a harpy eagle at home in its Amazon River habitat and hope lots of our future Aqua Expedition’s guests will be lucky enough to also be treated to this unique experience!