Harpy eagle looking towards camera

Harpy eagle

Harpy eagles are some of the world's largest and most powerful birds of prey. The largest eagles of the Americas, they are also mean fliers. They hunt in and around the canopy of Central and South America's rainforests, striking at animals with deadly precision - sloths and monkeys are particular favourites. The unfortunate victims are subdued with large, viscious talons that a grizzly bear would be proud of. Named by early South American explorers after the half-woman/half-eagle monster of Greek mythology, these legendary eagles are seldom seen in the wild.

Scientific name: Harpia harpyja

Rank: Species

Common names:

American harpy eagle

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Map showing the distribution of the Harpy eagle taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Harpy eagle can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Harpy eagle distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Rainforest Rainforest
Rainforests are the world's powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. Characterised by high rainfall, they only cover 6% of the Earth across the tropical regions, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Harpy eagle