Jungle Eagle
Full Episode

Harpy eagles are the most powerful birds of prey in the world, but scientists know very little about harpy eagles. NATURE enters their secret world with wildlife filmmaker Fergus Beeley and his team of cameramen as they locate a nest and struggle to document the lives of these elusive birds in Venezuela’s Orinoco River jungle. Buy the DVD. This film premiered on November 9, 2011. (Video limited to U.S. & Territories.)

  • Marissa Kalman

    I so enjoyed this film and its fascinating glimpse into the lives of these magnificent birds. I was, however, frustrated that although the filmmaker often remarked on the birds’ enormous size, he never offered any weights or lengths. It was impossible to judge this visually, given the enormous backdrop of the jungle. If I’m mistaken and simply failed to catch that detail, please forgive me.

  • Animal lover

    Male Harpy Eagles tend to range in size from 8.8 – 11 lbs, and females tend to be 13 – 20 lbs., a body length of 35 – 41 inches, and a wingspan of about 5 ft., 9 inches – 6 feet, 7 inches.

  • The Nelson Clan

    I was so impressed with how cunning and calculating and smart these birds are. I was fascinated and two days later it’s all I can talk about. Just the fact that they can think far enough ahead to plan the education of their chick to ensure it’s survival…I know humans that can’t even do that!!! Completely enjoyed this episode. Thank You.

  • Patty R

    Such an amazing program! It truly shows the dedication of the people filming it – scary to see how they got attacked by the defending mother. Tough animals! Can’t wait for the next show!

  • Cat-Man

    I had a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks nest for four years in my yard. The bonus was blueberries like I’d never imagined as my yard was turned into a No Fly Zone for all birds including those that would eat my blueberries. The Reds would return the next year with Jr in tow. He’d hang around until about the time that this years egg was laid then it was leave the area by force from mom and dad.

  • Powell River Guy

    I found the entire film to be quite fascinating. I’ve been watching ‘Nature’ for years and this episode was outstanding.
    I quite liked the film maker’s theory about why the nearby monkeys were left untouched by the parents.

  • robert mendez
  • robert mendez

    I can only wonder how that young bird grew up and wanted to connect with the researchers. Some sort of imprinting but it was haunting to see the depth of their consciousness. They were totally aware of some relationship besides food.

  • David Parker

    I watch the second half of the program with my 11 year old son.
    The facts and photography left us both stunned. This episode took our breath away.

    After the program my son said to me with true emotion, “I want to do what that guy does.”
    He has stated for many years that he wanted to be a manager of a zoo.
    We talked and I re-enforced the need to studying the sciences and working hard to get where he wants.
    Thank you Nature for tapping my son’s soul and identity.
    Keep them coming.

  • cognitogrrl

    THANK YOU so much for this spectacular film about this magnificent eagle! For many years we’ve supported PBS and enjoyed wonderful broadcasts like this. BRAVO to Mr. Beeley and his intrepid cameramen!! That second trip up to adjust the camera at the nest had me on the edge of my seat, as much as the threat to the chick of the army ants, the vulture, and the rain. You knew the mother would attack, without a doubt! but it was still amusing on the first trip up the tree, how Beeley had to convince the photographers to take the danger seriously.

  • Jackie Nguyen

    I enjoy the program very much!…It is so nice to see human and bird connected to each other.

  • Pounding Heart Woman

    Amazing, stunning, captivating and majestic is this bird of prey. Thank you so much for making this film, otherwise I would never have known about this elusive creature and the beauty of this region. Through the eyes of the predator we see into the Great Mystery…….

  • JGLynch

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I have watched this twice today. I never go anywhere and see anything really and to have access to this incredible film is very much appreciated. Awesome and captivating.

  • Don

    Excellent program! Very informative! Well worth viewing it!

  • Robert

    What an absolute fantastic program!

    I work at a center for birds of prey and forwarded the link to my director.

    I fully understand the bond between you and the wild raptor, seems sometimes some are just special.

  • Kris

    What a beautiful bird!!! That about sums it up for me.

  • Bill Nunnally

    Another fantastic video from PBS. I know you guys enjoy your work but I would have to say you earned your pay on this one. Messing with mom and dad eagle would be like meeting a hood in the alley with say 3 or 4 switchblades in each hand. Great video from all involved and great shots. Thank You

  • jOe

    pro-choice (adjective)
    believing that enabling casual, irresponsible fornication is more
    important than protecting the lives of unborn children

  • Claire

    I LOVED this show! My area of interest is usually centered on mammals and reptiles, but I was memorized when I watched this. The bird is so powerful, clever, and BIG I couldn’t help but have a fascination with it. Thanks, PBS!!! :)

  • Bonnie

    OUTSTANDING! I have never been so captured by a science program in a LONG time! My husband who is legally blind also enjoyed the program because the descriptions of the action were beautiful! Thank-you!

  • Love

    Compelling and powerful story telling of this magnificent and regal bird. Thank you.

  • Jane Robb

    If you’re ever in Belize, you must go to see “Panama” , the Harpey Eagle, at the Belize Zoo (a rehab zoo of injured native animals that cannot be returned to the wild.) “Panama” was injured and now lives at the Zoo – friends hand fed mice to “Panama.” Most exciting. The bird is enormous and menacing. The Zoo director, Sharon, calls to “Panama” and he knows his ‘lunch’ of mice is coming! He responds with the Harpey Eagle cry – quite a phenomena.

  • Trevor Thomas

    This is the most regal bird that I have ever laid my eyes on.

  • andrew poole

    Very amazing! How can such a bird do this. Fergus Beeley nice work you are legend to me.

  • Roger White Jr.

    Amazing!!! long live the harpy Eagles!!!!!…Nice work guys!!!!

  • Polly Wren Neldner

    My “holy grail”…hope to someday…before I die…to see one….

  • Enosh Baker

    Dear Fergus Beeley,

    Those aren’t “your” harpy eagles.

    You smell!

    You are the scourge of the upper canopy. You are proof that colonialism subsumes our culture. Your work destroys the wild.

  • albert

    Contrary to a popular belief the Harpy eagle is not the most powerful eagle in the world.. It’s the Philippine eagle it take much larger and heavier prey than Harpy eagle and more ferocious prey such as large snakes like pythons and cobras, monitor lizards, large monkeys like macaques. It feeds on civets, flying lemurs, monkeys, large birds, giant cloud rat, small dogs and pigs the largest prey it carries to it’s nest was a 14 kg cervus deer.
    Harpy eagle basically feeds on tree dwelling animals like birds, small monkeys and 80% of it’s diet composed of sloths.

  • Mariah

    Enosh , I agree with you. I was so annoyed that I almost turn it off 3 or 4 times but didn’t because the images were so beautiful.

    albert, thanks for the info.

  • Lucia

    I’d like to buy the DVD but the site does not deliver in Brazil. Is there another site?

  • Jason

    Outstanding work, Great program.

    Thank You

  • Ada Lai

    Just watched this episode on PBS. It was amazing and beautiful and quite moving. I was totally enthralled, esp.at the end when the chick was watching those who had watched him. Thank you!

  • Kimberly Bohon

    Absolutely wonderful film. I loved being transported into the Harpy Eagle’s world. I am so glad the chick did well and that you were able to form such an amazing bind with him! Great job! I look forward to more of your films!

  • Barb

    Just watched this last night. At one point he did say that one of the monkeys the male brought back was the size of the average house cat, so it did provide a sort of comparison for size.

    However, what bothered me was how he kept saying that the ‘chick’ kept staring right at him, and how it was so ‘connected’ to HIM. All this while he was lying flat on his back ON THE GROUND, and the photographers were the ones high in the trees actually WITH the majestic creatures probably more connected and in tune with them than he was through his binoculars. Also, why wasn’t HE the one to ascend the tree to place the cameras, or at least assist? It would’ve given him the opportunity to get at least one up close and personal siting.

    I would have loved to have heard the cameraman/men’s point of view and what they thought of the entire experience, but, unfortunately, we rarely hear from them.

    Overall, though, I was pleased that the family was not disturbed and was left to live as they must. I wasn’t happy about them screwing the cameras into the tree.

    My heart broke watching her in the rain drenched and waiting, then calling desparately for her man when it finally cleared, but so relieved when that little white head popped up and he came flying through the canopy!

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