Steppe Eagle ( Aquila nipalensis, family: Accipitridae)

steppe eagle Kruger National Park birds The Steppe Eagle (Latin name Aquila nipalensis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 133 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 528 also a picture of the Steppe Eagle on page 497. The Steppe Eagle belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Steppe Eagle is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Steppe Eagle in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Steppe Eagle : see above distribution map.

Kruger Park Steppe EagleIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Steppe Eagle is a large bird much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the Steppe Eagle is about 84 cms and its weight is about 2500 gms

The male and female Steppe Eagle have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is grey.
  • Throat is grey.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are brown.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Steppe Eagle feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Steppe Eagle is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Aquila nipalensis will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Steppe Eagle is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are cream in colour and number between 1 t0 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Steppe Eagle are: woodlands . The Steppe Eagle is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Steppe Eagle in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ukhozi

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Steppe-arend

German ... Steppenadler

Portuguese ... guia-das-estepes

French ... Aigle des steppes

Dutch ... Steppearend

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 133

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,