Trivia question for Mar-28-2011

Posted on Mar 28, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia is up today and she likes this one because of its name.  I will explain why tomorrow when we post the answer.  This is the heaviest bird of prey, with the largest feet and talons of any eagle.  These guys are strong enough to snatch adult monkeys and sloths from the treetops in mid flight.

Additionally, these guys will occasionally attack larger prey such as young deer and capybaras but they are usually taken to a stump or low branch and partially eaten, since they are too heavy to be carried whole to the nest. These guys may take domestic livestock but this is extremely rare. They control population of mesopredators such as capuchin monkeys which prey extensively on bird’s eggs and which (if not naturally controlled) may cause local extinctions of sensitive species.

So here are Olivia’s questions:  Tell us what kind of eagle this is and tell us if they are endangered or not.  Also, tell us which predator from ancient Greek mythology these birds were named after?

Good luck 😉


Congratulations to Sandra for being the first with the correct answers.  Great job.  The hefty bird we featured is the Harpy Eagle.  The Harpy Eagle, sometimes known as the American Harpy Eagle, is a Neotropical species of eagle.  Olivia picked this as her trivia because when she first saw it in her book, she thought its name was Happy Eagle.  After I had her look at the name closer, she quickly said the name Happy Eagle would work for this bird as well because he looked so happy.  You can’t argue with that type of logic 😉

These birds are listed as Regionally Endangered and that is mainly due to habitat loss.  These birds nest only in high trees and since so much of their range is being deforested, there is great concern in most of their natural habitat.

Its name refers to the harpies of Ancient Greek mythology. These were wind spirits that took the dead to Hades, and were said to have a body like an eagle and the face of a human.  In Greek mythology, a harpy (“snatcher”) was one of the winged spirits best known for constantly stealing all food from Phineas. The literal meaning of the word seems to be “that which snatches” as it comes from the ancient Greek word harpazein, which means “to snatch”.

Here is more on these fierce birds:  Harpy Eagle

Thanks for playing along 😉