Harpy Eagle’s Diet

What I like Eating

Harpy Eagle feeding at Zoo Miami

Harpy Eagle feeding at Zoo Miami

Harpy Eagles are one of the most powerful raptors in the world and are fully carnivores, generally feeding on medium sized mammals, birds and reptiles.1 Their most common prey are arboreal mammals including; Howler, Capuchin, Two and Three-Toed Sloths, Squirrel Monkeys, opossums, porcupines and anteaters.1 Terrestrial animals, Domestic Pigs and Young Brocket Deer, are less commonly captured by Harpy Eagles.1 Harpy eagles also prey on other birds such as Parrots, Hyacinth Macaw and Blue and Yellow Macaw. Other prey of the Harpy Eagles includes snakes and iguanas. However, the primary preys for Harpy Eagles are monkeys and sloths.

Since Harpy Eagles are fully carnivorous birds, they don’t require much carbohydrates in their diets. They consume mostly protein and EE fat that provides them enough metabolizable energy.24 Harpy Eagles generally eat until they’re full, and generally eat the whole carcass (including the GI tract) which allows them to gain some EE fats and carbohydrates.24Dry seasons which lead to a drought-stressed habitat, causes a decrease in abundance of food. Therefore the highest amount of foods are the wet seasons shown in the chart below.

Rabbit prey

Article11

During off seasons (Jun-Oct) some prey are still available, as shown in the chart above. During the dry season, some animals such as rabbits will increase in growth. Rabbits are important for Harpy Eagles during their dry-season.

Chart of Lipids for Eagles

Chart of Lipids for Eagles- Article 24

 

The amount of Rainfall, Affects food sources

The Amount of Rainfall, Affects Food sources15,16

In the graph above, you can see the highest rainfall occurs in November to May. This means that the highest amount of prey increases during this season. During the off seasons, prey is scarce so  during these months, Harpy Eagles often have trouble finding food, which may lead to starvation and eventually death.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Abundance of Prey High High High High Low Low Low Low Medium Medium High Medium

 

CP Crude Protein EE Fat CHO Carbohydrates ME Metabolizable Energy
Rabbits 198% 16% **Very Low 8290kcal/g
Deer 208% 17% **Very Low 8725kcal/g

The high amount of CP crude protein in these prey animals provides sufficient nutrition for the Harpy Eagles. All prey animals provide a large amount of Crude Protein and EE fat, however have very little amount of carbohydrates (not a problem for carnivores).24

 

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