Steppe Eagle

Scientific Name: Aquila nipalensis
Malay Name: Helang Gurun
Chinese Name: 草原雕

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

Polytypic. Subspecies are: orientalis, nipalensis.

Local Subspecies: nipalensis

Size: 76-80 cm

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: Very rare migrant

Conservation Status: Endangered (BirdLife International 2020)

Location: The last confirmed sighting was a juvenile photographed at Lorong Halus on 28 Feb 1999. There were 4 earlier accepted records with 3 sightings at Punggol and 1 at Tuas.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2020). Aquila nipalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Lim, K. S., Chia, A., Yong, D. L., & Chew, J. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.