Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Near Threatened

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)


French: Harpie féroce German: Harpyie Spanish: Arpía mayor

Vultur Harpyja


, 1758,



Only close relative appears to be Morphnus guianensis. Monotypic.


S Mexico (from S Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas and apparently Campeche) through Central America to Colombia and Ecuador, then E through Venezuela to the Guianas and S through E Peru, Bolivia (W to La Paz and Pando), Paraguay and Brazil to extreme NE Argentina (Misiones).

Descriptive notes

89–105 cm; male 4000–4800 g, female 6000–9000 g; wingspan 176–201 cm. A truly massive raptor. Head greyish with a dark, divided crest; relatively... read more


Loud wailing “wheeeeeee” or “wheeeeoooooo”, plaintive, piping “whee whee wheeu” with emphasis on... read more


Lowland tropical forest; normally below 800 m, but single record at 1600 m in Colombia. Occurs in... read more

Food and feeding

Preys on large, powerful vertebrates. A synthesis of published data found that sloths accounted for 50% of prey items and biomass... read more


Between 1980 and 1992 some 113 nests reported in the literature, 52 of them in Panama; since then much additional work has been conducted,... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES I. Formerly red listed in category Rare, but currently considered Near Threatened. Sparsely distributed throughout extensive range, and... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 May 2019).