(Photo by Mike Paterson)
February 2nd, 2006 -- This harpy eagle was photographed in the Gamboa Rainforest resort in Panama. Below is the photographer's account of this sighting:
As I stood looking up to this magnificent creature, inspired by its majestic presence, I felt privileged, chosen to witness this beautiful creation of God. A surreal experience. For a moment, time stood still. His sinister eyes looking down upon us, watching with just as much curiosity as us watching him. The rare and elusive Harpy Eagle. It was Thursday February 2nd, 2006. Approximately 10am. We took the arial tram at the Gamboa Rainforest resort in Panama. A beautiful resort set in a serene location on the Chagres River a short distance from the Panama Canal. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful morning. Unknowingly at the time that it would be a day forever to be remembered. As we rode to the top of the canopy, our guide talked about the rainforest flora and fauna while I scanned the trees looking for photo opportunities. It was a fairly quiet ride to the top where we exited the tram to climb the lookout tower overlooking the Panama Canal and Chagres River. I took some scenic photos while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. After a brief rest at the top, we proceeded back down to catch the arial tram back to the base. When we reached the bottom one of the guides was pointing up towards the top of a tree. There he was, sitting there like a king on his throne looking down upon his followers. I watched him through binoculars fascinated by his presence. I was at a loss for words. I managed to take a few photos before we were ushered back onto the tram for the ride back to reality. A truly awe-inspiring moment. One that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
© Canadian Peregrine Foundation