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Steppe Eagle

Common name for a bird of prey, with the scientific designation Aquila nipalensis, and of which there are two races, i.e. Aquila nipalensis nipalensis, which is referred to as the eastern race, and Aquila nipalensis orientalis, which is known as the European and Central Asian race. This large eagle grows up to 80 centimeters tall and has a wingspan of up to 2 meters, with females being somewhat larger than males. It is larger and has a larger bill than other large uniformly dark eagles. It has brown upperparts, with a rufous-buff nape patch, and blackish flight feathers, as well as a blackish tail. Typically, its legs are fully covered with plumage, leaving only the feet bare. The species is slightly similar to the dark morph Tawny Eagle, but is larger and has a somewhat paler throat. The Steppe Eagle breeds from eastern Europe in the West, to Mongolia in the East, and while the European and Central Asian race winters in -mostly eastern- Africa (where it is the national animal of Egypt), the eastern birds, which are larger and darker than their European and Central Asian counterparts, winter in India. Steppe Eagles feed mostly on fresh carrion, but will also kill small mammals, such as rodents, and other birds.