Stories to tell – Harpy Eagle

The Amazon is the world of «expecting the unexpected,» an intriguing, fantastic, and mysterious world.

We were at Challwa Lagoon for a midday tour with 6 guests who wanted to observe giant river otters for which we had planned with Yura, our Kichwa guide, to leave at 6:00 a.m. from Sani Lodge to explore the creek that feeds the lagoon.

Everybody on board, says Yura while his eagle eyes scan the forest in search of avifauna made up of flocks of oropendolas, noisy parrots, and macaws of all colors and sizes. At the same time, we explore the lagoon by paddle canoe, leaving all signs of human life behind in the lodge.

We passed by the entrance to the observation tower, whose predominant vegetation is freshwater mangroves, grass, the perfect niche to observe Purple Gallinules, Snail kites, Tropical Kingbird and Black-Capped Donacobious whose vocalization sounded like a car alarm, according to Yura.

While our guide was trying to explain the location of a Great Potoo whose spectacular camouflage blended into the gray branches of the tree, suddenly, one of our traveling companions mentioned that there was a large bird in the canopy; therefore, we all turned to look to be delighted with a spectacular view of an Eagle perched in the tree.

Harpy, harpy  Yura said while we tried to focus on the bird with the binoculars to get a spectacular National Geographic-type sighting as the raptor was holding in its right claw half of a two-toed sloth while the other part of the body was missing.

We spent at least 10 minutes watching this gift of nature that we understood, later on, was very special as our guide mentioned that the Harpy Eagle is a biological indicator of healthy ecosystems and is considered an endangered species by the IUCN. Mating takes place every two years, and conception gives rise to a single egg; that is one of the reasons why its population is low besides forest fragmentation.

It was about 10:30 a.m., time to return to the lodge with such a spectacular encounter that the otter sight was left for another time. Sitting at the bar at midday enjoying an ice-cold beer, we all agreed that, regardless of the wildlife that can be observed, Sani is a place to find oneself; if there is a paradise, it is here, good value for money!

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Sani Lodge
In our trips, you have the opportunity to explore untouched forests, understand the intrinsic relationships among plants and animals, search for stunning flora and fauna and learn from ancient cultures: the true treasures of the Amazon Rainforest. When you stay with us, you become part of our extended community where we share and teach you about our environment and culture. At Sani Lodge, you are not only choosing an amazing adventure, but also the opportunity to immerse yourself in our Amazon Kichwa lifestyle. Come and join us, support our indigenous community and the Rainforest conservation that you will love to call it home.


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