Steppe Eagle

Aquila nipalensis  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Aquila nipalensis

Name:  Steppe Eagle

    Local Names:
  • Bengali     নেপালি ঈগল
  • Gujarati     નેપાળી જુમ્માસ
  • Malayalam     കായൽ പരുന്തു്
  • Marathi     नेपाळी गरुड
  • Nepali     गोमायु महाचील
  • Tamil     புல்வெளிக் கழுகு
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Steppe Eagle adult has dark brown plumage overall. The body is darker than the greyish wings. Flight and tail feathers are greyish, and may be barred dark grey.
Steppe Eagle resembles several other eagles’ species, but the main features are the rufous patches visible on nape and neck of adults, and the large gape. Numerous eagles show pale rump and white patch on back. When flying, we can see a whitish patch on the hand, and some eagles have pale inner webs on most of the primary feathers. The strong, hooked bill is dark grey with yellow cere and long gape. Nostrils are oval. Eyes are brown. Short legs are feathered brown. Talons are yellow.
Female is similar in plumage, but larger than male.
Juvenile eagle and immature often show broad white band along the greater coverts on the underwing. Plumage is paler.
The young Steppe Eagle reaches the adult plumage at 4-5 years.

Size in cm:

76-80 cm

Size in Inch

30-31 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

brown   (Bird may have more colors)


Steppe Eagle uses wide variety of hunting techniques, and may catch preys by walking or flying. It often steals preys from other raptors when in flight. Susliks are their favourite preys, but other rodents, terrestrial birds, reptiles and crickets are also taken. Carrion is eaten during migration and on wintering areas, mainly by immature birds.

Habit and habited:

These eagle species inhabit open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert, steppes and savannah.


Steppe Eagle is usually silent outside breeding season, but when displaying, it utters crow-like barking. Calls are often given during some behaviour such as displays, contact, alarm and threat.

Bird Type:

Birds of Prey


The steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a bird of prey. 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. They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy; two molecular studies, each based on a very small number of genes, indicate that the species are distinct but disagree over how closely related they are.

It is about 62–81 cm (24–32 in) in length and has a wingspan of 1.65–2.15 m (5.4–7.1 ft). Females, weighing 2.3–4.9 kg (5.1–10.8 lb), are slightly larger than males, at 2–3.5 kg (4.4–7.7 lb). This is a large eagle with brown upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. This species is larger and darker than the 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 subspecies A. n. nipalensis is larger and darker than the European and Central Asian A. n. orientalis.

The call of the steppe eagle sounds like a crow barking, but it is rather a silent bird.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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