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Travel with Canadian artist David Kitler to the remote jungles of Panama's Darien Province to learn about the magnificent but endangered Harpy Eagle - the world's most powerful bird.
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David KitlerDavid N. Kitler   AFC, SAA David Kitler
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WNAG Flag Expedition Follow-Up: Harpy Eagle Update
The Kitlers wanted to take this opportunity to visit the Harpy Eagle nesting site where they had spent so much time 14 months earlier. The then-chick should be around 18 months old and, although it might still be dependent on its parents for food, those feeding visits would likely be a week or more apart. The Kitlers were not holding any hope of actually seeing the birds.

The visit to the nest provided more information about the Harpy Eagle's diet, in the form of bone fragments, claws, and bits of fur that were found at the base of the nest tree. The tree itself looks quite different, as the nest is now gone. According to the native guide that accompanied them, strong winds recently toppled several of the smaller trees in the area, and also blew away all of the nesting material from the tree. The Kitlers took a moment to photograph and document the current state of the area.

They were already half-way down the hill, heading towards the trail that would take them out of the jungle, when they heard the familiar call. It was hard to believe, but the juvenile Harpy Eagle was back! He had flown in, landing on a nearby tree, and was calling to be fed. After moving around with some difficulty in the dense jungle floor, the Kitlers were able to find a good vantage point from which to photograph the handsome juvenile "their" little chick had turned into. The Harpy Eagle will not get its final colouring until it is about 5 years old, so you might be able to notice the much lighter grays of the juvenile's plumage.

What a treat! And how hard it was to turn away and leave... If reality was not calling for them to get back home, David and Ly would surely have loved to spend another month in that spot...

 


 
 
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