Marahute is portrayed as a very kind and gentle giant eagle, though her massive girth can cause problems (at one point, one of her wings accidentally knocks Cody off the tall cliff they're on, though she quickly saves him). Appearance-wise, she most closely resembles a cross between a white-bellied sea eagle and a wedge-tailed eagle, the two largest species of eagle native to Australia, although with a wingspan of 40ft (12 meters) she is much larger than either. She can also be compared to the extinct giant Haast's eagle than the aforementioned animal.
She has a lot of love for Cody, grateful that he saved her, and is a very caring friend and mother-figure toward her friends and eggs respectively as well as her mate - as seen when he asked where the father of the eggs was, she displayed very high sadness and grief. She's also extremely loyal to those loyal to her, having saved Cody's life not once, but twice in the film. She is also shown to be quite intelligent and have a sense of humor, as shown when she tickles him during the flight scene and when she takes him water-skiing along the river.
Role in the film
Marahute first appeared when Cody discovers her entangled in a trap. After he manages to free her, she accidentally knocks him off the cliff with one of her large wings. She then immediately repays the debt and rescues him, before taking him for a fun ride in the sky. She then shows him her nest with her eggs in it, revealing that she is a mother. However, when asked about her mate, she looked down in sorrow, revealing that her mate had disappeared and never came back (it was later revealed that he was killed by McLeach), a gold feather is seen and Cody catches it. She gives it to him as a gift for saving her. He hugs her and on the ground she flies off. She isn't seen again until later, where she ended up captured with Cody unwittingly getting McLeach to her (he earlier told him that she was killed by another hunter knowing full well that Cody would attempt to rush to the nest, and thus lead him straight to it). She was later freed by the protagonists, and saves Cody from falling down the falls.
Marahute's eggs were also well protected by Bernard and (albeit unwillingly) by Wilbur, as Joanna was instructed to eat them as soon as Marahute was captured, so Bernard ended up tricking her by replacing the nest with three egg-shaped rocks, while hiding the real ones inside the nest, and then had Wilbur roost them until they hatched.
Her true species is not truly confirmed. In the film, Faloo calls her a "Great Golden Eagle", although whether or not this is her "species" or just a name for her regarding her size is not known.