The steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a large bird of prey. It belongs to the family Accipitridae, like all eagles. The steppe eagle's well-feathered legs represents it to be a member of the subfamily Aquilinae. It is also known as the "booted eagles". This species was once known to be closely related to the sedentary tawny eagle (Aquila rapax). 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. They indicate that the species are distinct but disagree over how closely related they are.
Due to these and other reasons, the decline of the species is thought to be considerably in excess of 50%. Therefore, the species is considered to be endangered by the IUCN. The steppe eagle appears on the flag of Kazakhstan and is the national bird of both Kazakhstan and Egypt.
References[change | change source]
- Ferguson-Lees, J.; Christie, D. (2001). Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-618-12762-3.
- Clark, W.S. (1992). "The taxonomy of Steppe and Tawny Eagles, with criteria for separation of museum specimens and live eagles". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 112: 150–157.
- Olson, Storrs L. (1994). "Cranial osteology of Tawny and Steppe Eagles Aquila rapax and A. nipalensis". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 114: 264–267.
- "Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis". globalraptors.org. Global Raptor Information Network. Archived from the original on 2020-09-26. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
- Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J.; Parkin, David T. (2002). "Taxonomic recommendations for European birds". Ibis. 144 (1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x.
Further reading[change | change source]
- Svensson, Lars (1–8 November 1986). Underwing pattern of Steppe, Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagles. International Bird Identification: Proceedings of the 4th International Identification Meeting. Eilat: International Birdwatching Centre Eilat. pp. 12–14.