Steppe Eagle

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Steppe Eagle
Missing image
Steppenadler.jpg



Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Accipitriformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Aquila
Species:A. nipalensis
Binomial name
Aquila nipalensis
(Hodgson, 1833)

The Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a large bird of prey. It is about 62-74 cm in length and has a wingspan of 165-190cm. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the non-migratory Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax, and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific. However, DNA studies have shown that these birds are not even each others nearest relatives.

Steppe Eagle breeds from Romania east through the south Russian and Central Asian steppes to Mongolia. The European and Central Asian birds winter in Africa, and the eastern birds in India. It lays 1-3 eggs in a stick nest in a tree.

Throughout its range it favours open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert, steppes, or savannah.

This is a large eagle with brown upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. This species is larger and darker than Tawny Eagle and it has a pale throat which is lacking in that species.

Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage colour. The eastern race A. n. nipalensis is larger and darker than the European and Central Asian A. n. orientalis.

The Steppe Eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill rodents and other small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, and birds up to the size of partridges. It will also steal food from other raptors.

The call of the Steppe Eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.

Template:Commonsbg:Степен орел de:Steppenadler

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