Endangered harpy eagle chick hatches at Zoo Miami

Published On: Jan 04 2013 03:03:49 PM EST
MIAMI -

On December 2nd, a harpy eagle chick hatched at the harpy eagle enclosure within the Amazon and Beyond exhibit.

Because bird hatchings, especially those of large raptors, are extremely delicate and experience relatively high mortality during the first few weeks, the zoo’s protocol is to wait 30 days before formally announcing the hatching to the public. 

"It is now with great celebration that we can officially announce this wonderful addition to Zoo Miami," said Zoo Communications Director Ron Magill.

This is the second hatching of this highly endangered eagle at Zoo Miami which is only the second zoo in all of North America to successfully reproduce this species. 

Harpy eagles are the most powerful birds of prey in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.  They are found in large undisturbed tracts of lowland tropical forests in Central and South America and feed on a variety of canopy birds and mammals including macaws, monkeys, and sloths.  A female harpy eagle can weigh as much as 20 pounds and has talons the size of grizzly bear claws. 

They usually reach sexual maturity at between 6 and 7 years and have a lifespan of approximately 35 years.

The 11-year-old mother and nearly 13-year-old father were both captive hatched at the San Diego Zoo and are at Zoo Miami as part of a breeding loan agreement between the two institutions.  Both parents arrived at Zoo Miami in 2002 and were introduced to each other in August of that year.  They produced their first successful hatching in October of 2009.

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Harpy eagle chick hatches at Zoo Miami