The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is the largest Neotropical raptor species and among the largest eagles in the world, capable of capturing full-grown sloths and monkeys weighing up to 14 pounds.

Resident in tropical to subtropical lowland rainforest, it formerly ranged from northern Argentina, throughout the Amazon basin, and into Central America and southern Mexico, with credible scattered records north through eastern Mexico. It is now listed as a Near Threatened species, with human persecution and deforestation resulting in an estimated 40 percent range loss, and posing the leading threats to its survival. 

Harpy Eagles have been the focus of captive-breeding and reintroduction efforts by the Peregrine Fund (, among other organizations, in addition to ongoing research and conservation projects such as this one recently featured by National Geographic.

Harpy eagle

Harpy eagle eggs

Image 1: From The Wonders of the Animal Kingdom by Robert Huish, an 1830 volume showing live specimens of exotic animals in British zoos. Image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (, contributed by the Smithsonian Libraries.

Image 2: Harpy Eagle in flight in Parque Nacional Soberania, Panama. Photograph by Mdf, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Image 3: Harpy Eagle egg set from the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology collections; Brazil, 1921.