New Guinea Harpy Eagles

The New Guinea Harpy Eagles, Harpyopsis novaeguineae, also known as the Kapul Eagle, is a huge (up to 90cm long) greyish brown raptor with a short full crest, broad three-banded wings, powerful beak, large iris, long rounded tail, and white underparts.

It has long and powerful unfeathered legs with sharp claws.

Males and females look alike, and the female is slightly larger than the male.

It is the only member of the monotypic genus Harpyopsis.

Distribution / Range

The New Guinea Harpy Eagle is endemic to the undisturbed tropical rainforests of New Guinea, where it became the top predator of the island.

Diet / Feeding

The diet consists mainly of phalangers or Kapul in a local language, hence its alternative name. It also feeds on other mammals, birds and snakes.

Breeding / Nesting

One of a group of four large eagles, the others being the Crested and Harpy Eagle of South America and the Philippine Eagle of the Philippines, the New Guinea Harpy Eagle is essentially a mountain bird that nests in high forest trees.


Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, and hunting for its feathers which are used on ceremonial occasions, the New Guinea Harpy Eagle is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed in Appendix II of CITES.

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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