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Alternative name: Whitely's Toucanet
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Taxonomy
- 3.1 Subspecies
- 4 Habitat
- 5 Behavior
- 6 References
- 7 Recommended Citation
- 8 External Links
Mostly emerald green with white throat and blue facial skin. Bill maroon and black (variable proportions depending on subspecies), and tip of tail most often have a chestnut spot.
There are 3 subspecies:
- A. d. duidae:
- Mountains of southern Venezuela (Amazonas and western Bolivar) and adjacent northern Brazil
- A. d. whitelianus:
- Mountains of southern Venezuela (south-eastern Bolivar) and northern Guyana
- A. d. osgoodi:
- Southern Guyana (Acary Mountans) and Suriname (Wilhelmina Mountains)
Has been considered conspecific with Chestnut-tipped Toucanet in the past.
Encyclopedia entry pinned
Harpy (Harpia harpyja) is a species of large birds of prey, described in detail in 1816. The area of distribution of the predator is very wide, and extends from southern Mexico to eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil and northern Argentina. In the west, the area is limited to the Andean mountain range. Most of these territories are covered with dense tropical forests, in the upper tiers of which harpies live.
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The described species of birds can be ranked as one of the largest birds of prey on the planet. Their body length varies from 90 to 102 cm, and their wingspan reaches 2 meters. Females, whose average weight reaches 8 kg, are usually larger than males, whose average weight does not exceed 6.5-7 kg.
The upper part of the harpy's body, chest, and feathers on the upper part of the wings are painted dark gray. The lower part of the body is almost white, with rare black blotches on the thighs, from a distance similar to small ripples. The head of the bird is light brown, as well as the beak, the legs are yellow, with very powerful claws. It is difficult to confuse a harpy with another predator, due to the presence of long feathers on the back of the head, which, rising, form a kind of hood, visually making the head unusually large. Feathers are thought to be lifted up when the bird is in danger, although some believe this can improve hearing acuity.
The breeding season for harpies coincides with the beginning of the rainy season, that is, it falls on April-May. Predators mate for life. Birds build their nest in the crowns of trees, at a height of 27 to 43 meters above the ground. A nest is being built from rags (in the photo above it is clearly visible), lined with vegetation and animal fur, and in diameter the structure reaches one and a half meters. Whenever possible, harpies use their old nests as breeding grounds.
The female lays one or two eggs in the nest, but the parents will only take care of one chick, the first hatched, the second will simply die of hunger (see the video below for the process of growing up the harpy offspring).
Incubation lasts an average of 56 days. The hatched chick develops extremely slowly, fully feathering only at the age of 6-7 months. Even when a young harpy can already get its own food, it stays close to its parents, begging for handouts from them. Young birds reach sexual maturity at the age of 5-6 years, and predators breed once every two years. Each pair lives on an average area of 30 sq. Km.
Under favorable conditions, the harpy can live up to 30 years. It is active in the daytime, most of which the bird spends in search of food, looking for it among the dense jungle with the help of keen eyes. Despite their impressive size, these predators are good at maneuvering in the dense forest environment where they live.
The main food for these birds are sloths and primates, for which they are sometimes called "monkey-eating harpies" (for the process of hunting monkeys, see the video above). However, they do not disdain birds, lizards, rodents, and even small deer sometimes become their prey.
To catch prey, predators use their powerful paws equipped with claws, whose length can reach 10 cm. Being at the top of the food ecosystem of the rainforest, harpies have no natural enemies.