The animal world has some species of birds that simply defy explanation, and you’re about to meet one of them.
The harpy eagle, or the royal hawk, is one of the largest birds of prey on the earth. Central and South American rainforests are home to the carnivorous eagle, but deforestation and hunting have endangered the species. When a social media post displayed the mammoth-sized eagle, pics of the bird went viral. People on the Internet couldn’t believe that the harpy eagle wasn’t a man dressed up as a big bird. Life is stranger than the fiction, as the harpy eagle is indeed real.
One Big Bird
The harpy eagle has a pretty impressive wingspan that can reach up to seven feet and four inches in length. As one of the most powerful raptors on the planet, this bird of prey shockingly only weighs between eight and 20 pounds. A bird of such proportions enjoys eating prey like lizards, coatis, porcupines, sloths, and monkeys. Life for the harpy eagle isn’t easy, as fewer than 50,000 of this bird survive today in the world.
When photos of a harpy eagle made first rounds on Facebook, the post received 198 likes, 164 shares, and 25 comments. Almost a year later, a Twitter user named Marissa posted more photos, creating a resurgence in interest. Marissa posted, “I thought this was fake… Harpy Eagle incredible bird!! How have I never seen this before!?” Marissa’s post received 53 comments and 103 likes. When posts of the harpy eagle’s existence and pics hit Reddit, the Internet had a meltdown.
Completely Creeped Out
Photos of the harpy eagle posted by Reddit user, NatureIsF*ckingLit received a whopping 2,925 comments and 93.1K upvotes. Some of the most winning comments about the endangered eagle were posted on Reddit. User SchittyMcTimbers responded, “This looks like something Jim Henson made…mildly creepy.” Another user, just_ice_for_all commented, “Harpies have the body like an eagle and the face of a human, so harpy eagle is an apt name.”
It makes complete sense why people are freaking out at the harpy eagle’s appearance. Reddit user iHeartApples posted, “Its face has a lot of similarities with some early human civilization masks. If I ran into that in the dark I would 100% believe it was a god.” Overall, the harpy eagle’s stature and expressive face give people intense feelings of panic or bewilderment.
Predator With Personality
On Twitter, users flipped out over pictures of the harpy eagle. Lindsey Fitzharris posted one of the most viral posts of the giant predator, and it received 827 likes and 262 comments. Looking at the royal hawk, this eagle is dressed to impress. Not only does this giant eagle have fine feathers on its wings and body, but it also has a crown of feathers atop its head. The steely gaze of the harpy eagle is nothing to scoff at, and it is impressive in size when compared to an average adult human. Royal hawks have some intimidating claws, which are perfect for hunting, and are large enough to grasp an adult hand.
People often ask me: “Does anything freak you out?” Yes. THIS. This freaks me out. https://t.co/J959tfK2W8
— Lindsey Fitzharris (@DrLindseyFitz) October 2, 2019
Typically, harpy eagles live in tropical lowland forests within the upper canopy level. These intriguing birds have been confused for a man dressed in a costume or something from a prehistoric age. Even though the royal hawk is a force to be reckoned with in the wild, these incredible creatures are under threat thanks to human activities. Hopefully, as pictures of the harpy eagle go viral across the Internet, more people will speak up on behalf of the conservation and protection of these birds of prey. Luckily for humans, they aren’t on the menu for the royal hawk.
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