A photographer recently captured stunning photographs of a rare harpy eagle and her chick in the rainforest of Peru. The expert hunter is an elusive animal to spot, because it flies silently in the darker regions of the Amazon rainforest. (Read the full story on the harpy eagle and her chick)
Bird of prey
The harpy eagle, (Harpia harpyja), lives in the Amazon rainforest. The elusive creatures can be up to 3 feet tall and have a 6-foot wingspan. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
Watching and waiting
The eagle typically lives between the understory and the canopy of the jngle, in the darkest reaches of the forest. Illegal mining and logging has dramatically reduced its habitat, and the elusive creatures are now considered near threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
The stealthy predator flies silently through the forest, looking for animals to eat. Here, a harpy eagle with the body of one its prey. The eagle kills its prey by crushing it in massive talons, which can produce hundreds of pounds of force. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
Harpy eagles live in shadows of the rainforest, and as such, can be hard to spot. Some Amazon birders can go their whole lives without seeing one. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
Conservationists at the Tambopata Research Center noticed the nest of a harpy eagle high in an ironwood tree. Jeff Cremer, a nature photographer working at the center, climbed up the tree and managed to take photos of the adorable baby chick, along with its mama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
Adorable but deadly
The cute little bird will spend its first year of life in the nest, but even before it leaves for good, the baby is already learning the skills needed to hunt and kill. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
Though the fluffy head feathers on this harpy eagle chick may look funny, they actually serve a purpose: The upswept feathers create a kind of acoustic funnel, directing sound toward the chick's ears and providing it with a keen sense of hearing for finding prey. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
Here, a photo of the mama bird with its chick. The harpy eagle typically lays two eggs each year, but only one hatches. The mama will spend the next year making sure the bird grows, bringing back food. As the chick grows, she will return with prey less and less often. (Photo Credit: Jeff Cremer photography/Perunature.com)
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Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.