FORAGING ECOLOGY OF REINTRODUCED CAPTIVE-BREDSUBADULT HARPY EAGLES (HARPIA HARPYJA) ON BARROCOLORADO ISLAND, PANAMA

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) Science Article 3

abstract

A male and female Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), both reintroduced captive-bred subadults,were observed on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama for 89 and 205 days, respectively, between June 1999 and August 2000. The male captured 25 individuals from nine different mammalian species and the female captured 46 individuals from 8 different mammalian and one reptilian species during the period of observation. Fifty-two percent of captures by the male were of two-toed (Choloepus hoffmanni) and three-toed (Bradypus variegatus) sloths. Fifty-four percent of captures by the female were of sloths. On average, the male made a capture every 3.6 days with a daily average consumption of 888 g. The female made a capture on average every 4.4 days with a daily average consumption of 812 g. The eagles attacked solitary arboreal prey species from 1-50 m distance, sometimes with several calculated attempts from within 5 m. Social arboreal prey species were most often attacked by surprise from less than 30 m, and terrestrial prey species were attacked by surprise from less than 10 m. The female eagle was observed to capture solitary arboreal prey significantly more during sunny weather and the dry season. She was also observed to capture social arboreal prey significantly more during cloudy weather and the wet season. Capture success rates of observed predations for the male and female eagle were 38% and 49%, respectively.

Janeene M. Touchton, Yu-Cheng Hsu, & Alberto Palleroni, ORNITOLOGIA NEOTROPICAL 13: 365-379, 2002

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