Discover a Massive Eagle That’s 3X the Size of a Bald Eagle

The South Island of New Zealand is home to the enormous extinct Haast's eagle. One of the top predators in terrestrial South Island habitats, it flew amid prehistoric wildlife from sea level to the subalpine zone.   

The Andean condor-like beak and vulture-like feeding habits made this eagle unusual. Extinct flightless moa were the main prey of these enormous eagles.   

They hunted moas by flying into their rear legs and crushing their skulls with their huge talons. With its condor-like bill, it would eat the body's organs.  

Although bald eagles pursue smaller prey, they swoop from lofty perches like Haast's. Bald eagles strike down and restrict fish and small rodents with their talon.   

The largest and heaviest eagle, the Haast's, weighs up to 37 pounds and is four feet long with a nine- to ten-foot wingspan. This massive eagle has claws and a bill larger than any vulture.   

Their major target was moa, which could topple 12 feet and weigh 500 pounds or more! While the Haast's eagle couldn't fly away with a moa, its sharp, powerful talons could shred flesh and break bone.   

The largest bald eagles weigh 14 pounds, are three feet long, and have a seven-foot wingspan. Their diet includes fish, carrion, and small animals. However, bald eagles have eaten deer, pronghorns, and calves.  

Could a Haast's Eagle Grab a Human? New Zealand's Polynesian Maori drew cave drawings and reported gigantic eagles orally. According to oral accounts, Haast's eagles attacked youngsters.  

There is no proof that Haast's eagles ate humans, but researchers suspect they swooped down on humans in the highlands. They were powerful predators who could kill larger prey.   

No one has been killed by a bald eagle, including a youngster. At most, bald eagles can grab small dogs or cats.