Harpy Eagle Vs Philippine Eagle

Who would win a possible battle between these two awesome eagles?

The scarce and mysterious Harpy eagles of the American region are one of the biggest waders on the globe.

With their fierce demeanor, they can instill fear into many animals within their range.

Being at the highest spot of the food chain, the apex flying predator can prey on animals as big as sloths or monkeys.

The Philippine eagle, aka the Monkey-eating and Great Philippine eagle, is one of the tallest, biggest, and strongest birds on earth.

It’s a fearless predator bird, given the epithet “King of Birds”.

The Philippine eagle, which also goes by the name Monkey-eating eagle, is the most impressive and one of the biggest eagle species on earth and falls just behind the American harpy eagle.

Their name “Haribon” or “Bird King” was given due to the fact that their mane resembles that of a male lion. It’s also what makes these eagles different from other bird species.

Their Appearance

Males and female harpy eagles have the same feather structure.

They bear gray or grayish black feathers on their backside, while their belly area is white.

Their face and head are a light gray, and they have a black stripe on their chest, which contrasts with their pale abdomen.

Both sexes have a duplicate crest behind their head.

The female harpy eagles can be identified from their size, as they grow two times as big as the males.

In their natural wild habitat, adult female harpies have a weigh between 17 and 22 lbs, whereas the average weight of the male is from 9 to 11 pounds (4.99 kg).

A harpy eagle has a lifespan of 25 to 35 years.

In addition to being the heaviest eagle, it is also among the biggest eagles in the world, measuring up to 41 inches or 1 meter lengthwise and having a wingspan that reaches 6.5 feet, making harpy eagles the second-biggest eagles after the Philippine eagles lengthwise.

The nape of the Philippine eagle bears long brownish feathers that make a hairy crest.

These distinct feathers give it a lion’s mane-like appearance, which also resembles the legendary Gryphon.

The bulky legs are yellowish, with big and robust claws, and the distinct big, high-curved, and dark deep has a bluish-gray hue.

The adult male eagle is 10 to 20% smaller than the female and grows 3 feet (0.91 m) and 11 pounds (4.99 kg) on average.

The Philippine eagle is the biggest existing eagle lengthwise.

They also have an impressive wingspan that reaches 6.6 feet (2.01 m).

The wings of this eagle are not as tall as those of larger eagle species such as the Steller’s Sea Eagle and the Martial eagle, but they are quite wide and have a greater span scope than any other eagle type.

Their Natural Habitat

Harpies inhabit mainly rainforest regions–from the canopy of growing trees and sometimes on the ground.

They are most commonly found in low-altitude rainforests.

While they can be spotted in altitude levels of 6000 feet above the sea, they are more commonly found in lower altitudes of 3000 feet or less.

They also tend to stay away from deforested areas, but you can see them occasionally in open forests and even green lands near forests, especially when they have no food nearby.

These American flying predators are found from S. America to Mexico and Argentina.

Sadly, the mass deforestation of the eagles in Central America and Mexico has wiped out their populations.

The only region they currently exist in Central America is random areas of Panama.

Their largest populations are in Brazil.

The Philippine eagle, as its name suggests, inhabits the Philippines and particularly the four main islands of the Philippines: Samar, Luzon, Mindanao, and Leyte.

You can see them in the Northern Sierra Madre National Park and Mount Apo as well as the Mountain Kitanglad National Parks on Mindanao island.

Some Palawan locals have claimed to see the Philippine eagle in their region as well.

The eagle is located in tall tropical trees and mid-montane forests, especially in narrow regions.

Their altitude range from the lowlands to the mountains can sometimes surpass 6000 feet.

Diet & Hunting Style

American harpy eagles are top predators of their rainforest habitats.

Egg-laying harpies may be at risk from preying by other eagles.

This kind of predation though is uncommon, as the parents are great at protecting their nest and host.

Harpy eagles rely on their 5” long talons and their robust legs to catch their prey.

They are excellent at grabbing their prey from the canopy, and they are so powerful enough that they carry their catch away, flying to a perch to eat it.

They like to feed on monkeys and sloths, but you can also see them hunting other birds, lizards, small rodents, and sometimes, small mammals.

Philippine eagles prey on medium-sized animals such as lemurs, squirrels, and of course monkeys–hence their name “monkey-eating eagles”.

They can also feed on snakes, rats, birds, bats, and small deer.

Individuals begin to hunt from their nest at a summit and slowly fly downhill from one perch to another before they go back to the hill. Pairs of eagles can also be spotted looking for prey together– one eagle adopts the role of a distractor, while the other eagle attacks and snatches its prey from the back.

Their Behavior

Harpy eagles are mainly found in couples, as they make monogamous couples that partner for a lifetime.

Couples are also spotted with a third, younger eagle, which is their child from the previous mating season.

They prefer to hunt alone, using their sharp vision to look for prey in dense rainforests.

Harpies may spare up to 23 hours a day looking for prey.

They are well-versed in battle and capable of moving swiftly through packed forest areas.

They are diurnal animals, which means that they hunt mainly during the daytime.

The natural evolution of the Philippine islands, with no other predators in their proximity, has made these eagles the prevailing hunters of the Philippine tropical forests.

Every mating pair needs a large habitat scope of 25 to 50 square miles to hatch and raise chicks successfully. Therefore, these eagles are highly endangered by frequent and mass deforestation.

Their flying manner is swift and powerful, similar to those of smaller hawks.

Moreover, you can see them attacking fixed objects for practice, as well as trying to hang themselves in reverse to boost their balance.

Because parents are not on sight when this happens, it has been found that they don’t have an active role in showing their offspring how to hunt.

The average lifespan of a wild eagle is between 30-60 years.

Now, going back to our question, who would win a possible fight between the two? The American Harpy or the Philippine monkey-eater?

Well, let’s all recognize that both eagle species are impressive in appearance.

If we examine their natural habitats and diet habits, both eagles are considered to be apex predators among their kind.

Thus, it’s very hard to tell which eagle has an edge to win in possible combat between these two.

But, if we place them together, the harpy eagle will most likely win because of its robust physical figure and natural evolution through the years.

Harpies have more powerful claws compared to other eagle species. Their claws are as big as those of grizzly bears, allowing them to spare the bones of their prey.

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