Steppe Eagle | Aquila nipalensis

Steppe Eagle Raptor And Birding Information

The Steppe Eagle is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

Steppe Eagle adult in the kruger parkThe description for the Steppe Eagle (Latin name Aquila nipalensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Aquila nipalensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 133 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 528. You will find a picture of the Steppe Eagle on page 497.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Steppe Eagle between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Steppe Eagle is known in Afrikaans as Steppe-arend.

The Steppe Eagle has a height of 84 cms and weighs around 2500 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured grey. The Aquila nipalensis has a grey coloured throat, brown legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are yellow.

Bill is grey.

Legs are brown.

Throat is grey.

Back is brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Adult Steppe Eagle
Female Adult Same as above.
Juvenile  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Steppe Eagle Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Steppe Eagle Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Steppe Eagle is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 t0 5 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Steppe Eagle is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the African bushveld.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.