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Harpy Diaries : Elpis, The Harpy Eagle Chick Is 9 Month Old

Daniel Couceiro

Hello everybody from the heart of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest ! I hope you are having a great start of 2018!

Nowadays we are right in the middle of the rainy season, which means that not even one day passes without a light, medium or heavy rain. Everything is wet and all the trails are muddy. Lots of plants are blooming and the green of the different bushes, grass and trees is vivid, much more than couple months ago. The forest is bursting with activity.

Regarding our canopy dwellers, seems that everything is going on better than ever! I say that mainly because we barely see them at the nest in the videos we get from the camera. Since Elpis, the harpy eagle chick, learnt how to fly, she is really absent from the nest. Just appears when mom or dad bring a prey to eat it, for sure.

Dad was pretty much a ghost in the previous 2 months, but in the last one he has the one in charge of feeding the chick, while mom has stopped bringing food and fresh branches into the nest because as Elpis is not there most of the time, there is no need to cool down the nest; therefore we can dare to say that we have an empty nest almost the whole day.

I want you to see how big Elpis is today, when she is almost 9 months old, stepping up from a fledgling to a juvenile. It’s crazy to remember how fast she has grown, I still have in my retina that snowy little ball that emerged from the egg at the end of June.

Harpy eagle in tambopata jungle

Figure 1. Elpis after a short flight, being almost 9 months old.

So, from now on, Elpis’s life will pass by flying in between trees in a nearby area around the ironwood where the nest is located. From branch to branch, enhancing her flying ability for the next 16-18 months, at the same time that gets more and more familiar with the preys that her parents will continue to bring to the nest. That’s how young harpy eagles learn the items that configure their diet. How do they learn how to locate and properly hunt them? Well, no one knows, probably it is configured in their genes, cause the juveniles never go to see how their parents ambush and hunt.

All of this means that every time we will have less and less footage of our harpy family. It sounds kind of sad, but actually this is the best news that we can have.

Also, I wanted to announce to our readers that at the same time that our chick acquires some independence I will be leaving the Wired Amazon project towards other projects and goals, so this will be my last blog. This amazing and marvelous raptor has meant so much to me. I came in first term here, three years ago, because of these family of flying hunters. A lot has gone and a lot has changed since the first time I spotted the most beautiful eagle in the world, but my unconditional love to them hasn’t changed a bit, actually it never stopped growing. The harpy eagle is not just everything you have been seeing in our videos and reading in these blogs, but a symbol, a flag of the greatness of the Amazon rainforest and its purest essence. I hope seeing their adventures has made you to be aware of the magic and beauty of this forest which we actually all depend on.

Juan Diego will be the person in charge of the Wired Amazon from now on, he has been working in the project for the last year and a half doing a bit of everything. So don’t worry, he will maintain the rhythm of videos and blogs to keep you updated! Also, he will introduce you a series of blogs and videos about other amazing stuff going on here, on the Tambopata rainforest, being that we are trying to place eyes everywhere!

Don’t forget to check our Youtube channel! It has been a pleasure to share the stories and discoveries about our harpy eagle with all of you! 

Here my favorite latest video:

And as usual, sign up for your free trial of the Amazoncam here and help us identify the Amazon wildlife that is on the photos taken by our 20 square kilometer grid of 78 cameras snapping away in the middle of the Amazon jungle. You can start practicing photo identification with our free illustrated plates of 172 Amazon Rainforest Animals.

And of course, if you´re thinking (or even dreaming) of Amazon Travel, you can chat with the Amazon travel experts here. We will help you get there.

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