Steppe Eagle

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Aquila nipalensis

Malay Name: Helang Gurun

Chinese Name: 草原雕

Range: Found from southeast Europe to central Asia, Indian subcontinent, northwest China, Mongolia and central Siberia with the northern populations wintering to Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China and mainland Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: orientalis, nipalensis.

Local Subspecies: nipalensis

Size: 76-80 cm

Identification: Adult resembles Eastern Imperial Eagle but slightly duller, lacks the prominent white markings on upper scapulars and has a small rufous-buff neck patch, paler throat and dark undertail-coverts. Juvenile also resembles juvenile Eastern Imperial Eagle but lacks the dark streaks on nape, neck, breast and wing coverts. Underwing flight pattern of juvenile also shows broad whitish wingbar between coverts and flight feathers.

Similar looking species: Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle

Habitat: Reclaimed land and open country.

Behaviour/Ecology: Takes carrion.

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Endangered (BirdLife International 2021)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Records currently under review are also not displayed. For a full list, click here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


BirdLife International. (2021). Aquila nipalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Lim, K. S. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.