Giant Flying Death Machine (The Harpy Eagle)

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This article is about the harpy eagle, and we all know how I feel about birds. I think they’re boring. Sure they can fly and stuff, but what do they really do? Flap their wings? Make annoying sounds with their dumb mouths? Have stupid feet? I thought I’d never come around to seeing the real awesomeness that was birds, until I found out about a classification of bird that blew my mind: raptors.

YUP. RAPTORS. You know, those awesome things from Jurassic Park. “Clever girl,” ring any bells? Since birds are the descendants of dinosaurs, or so it has been off-handedly explained to me, these birds got to keep an awesome name to prance around with. The harpy eagle is the biggest and most powerful raptor there is, using its totally NOT stupid feet to grab stuff with its talons. Raptor, also known as bird of prey, refers to birds that hunt and feed on other animals. So basically, the harpy eagle is a giant flying death machine and you totally want one.

You wake up; the sun drifts in through the curtains and speckles of dust dance their way through light beams on your floor. Rubbing your eyes, you glance to your open window and see your faithful companion; Peter, the harpy eagle, stands on your sill. Leaping out of bed your feet hit the floor and in seconds Peter is perched on your arm, looking as majestic as a giant sexy bird can. You ruffle his feathers and he totally gets a bird boner, which you decide is weird so you throw him back out the window. Hours later he returns with the neighborhood cat wrapped up in his talons. Good. You always hated that cat.

A harpy eagle female weighs more than its male counterpart, at about 13-20 lbs. The heaviest eagle ever recorded was one raised in captivity that weighed 27lbs, which weighs as much as a 27lb bag of rice, haha, which is close to the weight of your head, or a small child. That 27lb bag of rice joke I stole from a guy named Edward on a Yahoo! Answers forum. Don’t tell anyone I told you that. The harpy eagle typically has a wingspan from 5ft 9in, which is almost as tall as me, allllll the way up to 7ft 4in, which is way taller than me. That’s taller than basketball people, and basketball people are monsters. The good kind of monsters. Not like mean ones. OK maybe some basketball people can be mean but I don’t want to generalize. Basketball people have the capacity to be good or bad people, and just because they are basketball people doesn’t make them lean a certain way. This was supposed to be about the harpy eagle, not how I feel about basketball people.

On The Attack
Big claws. Like mad super big, dude. The harpy eagle has the largest talons of any living eagle. Which is good, because its main food sources are sloths and monkies. Do you understand? Those are like, things that are large, and a BIRD eats them. If it really wanted to, a harpy eagle could probably eat a kid. Like a two year old. I don’t want to live in a world where birds can eat humans, but I’m just putting it out there, the physics exist for that to be part of our reality. On rare occasions, a harpy eagle will snag some livestock like a chicken or a lamb, but that’s not very common. Oh yeah, and sometimes it hunts other birds.

As an apex predator, the harpy eagle has no major predators. Mostly, it hunts with a sit-and-wait type style, perching on a limb, scanning the area, and then hopping from perch to perch. When it spies something it likes, the harpy eagle dives down like an insane kamikaze pilot and grabs what it wanted. They will also hunt in a style known as tail-chasing, which involves chasing down another bird in flight, dodging trees and branches and stuff, requiring a level of agility known only to X-WING FIGHTERS DOING A RUN DOWN THE DEATH STAR TRENCH CAN YOU FUCKING FEEL IT.

How’s life at home?
I also found something mildly disturbing. Apparently, when a female harpy eagle lays eggs, she lays exactly two of them. Once the first one hatches, the second is ignored and normally fails to hatch unless the first egg dies and care is then reinstated upon the second egg. That’s totally insane! That’s like being pregnant with twins, having the first one and saying “Oh you can just throw the extra one out.” THE EXTRA ONE. What a terrible, terrible lady.

And that’s it. That’s all the things I found on the harpy eagle. I’ll admit, it’s kind of cool, OK? So get off my back about birds. The hunting other birds thing and the giant talons are super awesome, and even the egg thing is amusing in a morose kind of way. So that’s it, pack your bags, get on out of here, see you next week. What did you think of the harpy eagle? Totally awesome right? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do me a favor and share this article on your Facebook too. I would appreciate it. Thanks, man. (Or woman).

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One thought on “Giant Flying Death Machine (The Harpy Eagle)

  1. Pingback: Eatin’ Bugs, Runnin’ Fast, and Bein’ Mormon (The Bat-Eared Fox) | Animals Are Rad

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