HARPY EAGLE (extension/pre) TOUR
Harpy Eagles are back!

Couple of Harpy Eagle photographed by our guide Braulio A. CarlosJanuary 13th, 2015 we are monitoring the nest and the couple were photographed on the nest after the male brought food to the female, it seems the female is still sitting on the eggs, it means the chick must born only second half of February or even first half of March.

October 20th, 2014 Harpy eagles were photograph copulating on the nest! We could not have a better sign of a next nesting period.

If you are keen to see an adult Harpy eagle, your chance is right now when adults will be on the nest. This is a kind of schedule for the next months, according our experience with last nesting seasons we followed:

January : female will lay the eggs and sit on them for the whole day, standing up couple of times just to move the eggs from position.

February : same as January. To photograph the whole body we must to wait these crucial moments when she must to warm the other side of the eggs or wait for the adult male to bring food for her.

March : the chick will born and female will be around the nest and still sitting on it.

April : Chick will show up, popping up the head of the nest, adult male will bring food for both of them.

May : female left the nest and start hunting, bringing food too.

June : chick will start walking around the nest and trying to climb the main branches of the tree. Adults will be seen only when they bring food. Depositing on the nest.

July : chick will explore the whole tree and start jumping around the tree, exploring its wings. Food is still bring to the nest.

August : It is time for the chick to explore other areas, the nest tree is just a reference, but safety to sleep, everyday will come back to the nest tree to overnight. Food is bring to the nest tree, not the nest itself.

September : Chick will explore further and further and the nest tree will be just a reference of safety, but not using to sleep there anymore.

October : Adults still bring food to the chick, but less frequently.

November : Chick starts hunting by itself, adults especially the female still bring food.

December : Same as November, chances to see adults are random.

January : It gets more difficult to track the chick, does not sleep on the nest tree anymore and overnights closer to their potential prey.

February : Same as January, sometimes adults are seen around the nest, checking if the chick is still around.

This is a 03 days / 02 nights (extension/pre) tour, prepared to visit the Harpy Eagle nest site and surroundings. Beside the Harpy Eagles, this region host a number of other specialties such as: Sharpbill, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Rondonia Warbling Antbird and also rarities such as Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant and potentially Blue-eyed Ground-Dove could be seen around, once the last sight (1986) was mere 50km from here. First and last day could start or finish at Cuiabá airport or city hotel. This way allows you to schedule this tour with any other in Mato Grosso or take a connection flight to elsewhere.

Serra das Araras

Adult Harpy Eagle photographed by our guide Braulio A. Carlos

Day 01. Cuiabá - Serra das Araras

Today we will left Cuiaba behind in order to see the world's most powerful eagle: the Harpy Eagle. The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), sometimes known as the American Harpy Eagle, is a Neotropical species of eagle. It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, and among the largest extant species of eagles in the world. It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper (emergent) canopy layer. Destruction of its natural habitat has seen it vanish from many parts of its former range, and it is almost extinct in Central America. Departure from Cuiabá to the Serra das Araras, 120 km paved road crossing some cerrado area. Birding on route by the cerrado. Arrival and accommodation, birding the surrounding area could produce Red-shouldered Macaw, Chesnut-eared & Lettered Aracari, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Epaulet Oriole, and many others. Dinner. Night birding could produce Rufous Nightjar, Pauraque, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Ocellated Poorwill, Least Nighthawk, Black-banded & Spectacled Owl. Overnight. (D)

Day 02. Serra das Araras

A full day devoted to see the harpy eagles. The Harpy Eagle was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 as Vultur harpyja, after the mythological beast harpy. The only member of the genus Harpia, The Harpy Eagle is most closely related to the Crested Eagle (Morphnus guianensis) and the New Guinea Harpy Eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguineae), the three composing the subfamily Harpiinae within the large family Accipitridae. Previously thought to be related, the Philippine Eagle has been shown by analysis of DNA to belong elsewhere in the raptor family as it is related to the Circaetinae. Its name refers to the harpies of Ancient Greek mythology. These were wind spirits that took the dead to Hades, and were said to have a body like an eagle and the face of a human. The upper side of the Harpy Eagle is covered with slate black feathers, and the underside is mostly white, except for the feathered tarsi, which are striped black. There is a black band across the chest up to the neck. The head is pale grey, and is crowned with a double crest. The plumage of male and female is identical. The tarsus is up to 13 cm (5.1 in) long. Upper body of an adult in captivity Female Harpy Eagles typically weigh 6 to 9 kg (13 to 20 lb). One exceptionally large captive female, "Jezebel", weighed 12.3 kg (27 lb). Being captive, this large female may not be representative of the weight possible in wild Harpy Eagles due to differences in the food availability. The male, in comparison, weighs only about 4 to 4.8 kg (8.8 to 11 lb). The wings are relatively short and stubby, the female wing length measuring 58.3–62.6 cm, and the male wing length 54.3–58 cm. Harpy Eagles are 89–105 cm (2.92–3.44 ft) long and have a wingspan of 176 to 201 cm (5 ft 9 in to 6 ft 7 in). Among extant eagles, only the Philippine Eagle and the Steller's Sea Eagle approach similar dimensions, although the wingspan of the Harpy Eagle is relatively small (an adaptation that increases maneuverability in forested habitats and is shared by other raptors in similar habitats) and is surpassed by several large eagles who live in more open habitats, such as the Haliaeetus and Aquila eagles. The extinct Haast's Eagle was significantly larger than all extant eagles, including the Harpy. Early morning birding inside the forest and plenty of time for visit and photograph the Harpy Eagle nest (when breeding). Early birding by the forest may produce Black-tailed, Collared & White-tailed Trogons, Black-throated, Rondonia Warbling & White-flanked Antbirds, Amazonian, Planalto, White-shouldered & Plain-winged Antshrikes, Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant, Snethlage's Tody-Tyrant. Afternoon birding by trails into the forest could produce great birds such as King Vulture, Sharpbill, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Striolated Puffbird, Rufous-capped Nunlet, White-eyed Attila, Turquoise Tanager and even Gray & Little Tinamou. (B,L,D)

Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant

Day 03. Serra das Araras - Cuiabá

This morning we visit an area of cerrado vegetation, looking for rarities such as: Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, and cerrado specialties such as: Red-legged Seriema, Small-billed Tinamou, White-eared Puffbird, Collared Crescentchest, Horned Sungem, Yellow-billed Blue Finch, Rufous-winged Antshrike, Black-faced Tanager and many more. After lunch, return to Cuiabá airport or city hotel. (B,L)

 

INCLUDED
: 350 km photo road safari, 02 overnights at fazenda-lodge, full board, outings as described, private transportation, local English speaking birdwatching guide.

NOT INCLUDED: Air tickets to Cuiabá, any kind of beverages, medical costs or hospitalization, insurance, personal expenses as laundry, phone calls.

ACCOMMODATION : The fazenda-lodge used is Currupira das Araras located within the farm area where the Harpy Eagle nests. The fazenda has modern rooms with private facilities, air-conditioning & swimming pool.

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