The Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a large bird of prey, a raptor, and accipiter (the family of eagles).
The Steppe Eagle is brown with blackish flight feathers and a blackish tail. It has banded white and brown flight feathers. It has brown eyes, and a black sharply down-turned beak with a yellow cere.
It measures about 62-81 centimetres (24-32 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 165-215 centimetres (65-85 inches).
The Steppe Eagle is from Eastern Europe to Asia, from Romania to Russia and Mongolia, and south into Pakistan. It migrates to to the warmer countries of Africa and India in winter. It prefers dry habitats, such as deserts, semi-deserts, steppes, and savannahs.
It is a scavenger, eating the meat (carrion) of dead animals, but it will also eat rats, mice, rabbits, and other small mammals, as well as birds.
Females lay 1-3 eggs in a stick nest in a tree. The eggs hatch after about 45 days.
It lives to about 40 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM