Steppe eagle of the Red Book description and photo, what eats and where it lives

The steppe eagle belongs to the Sokolshaped detachment, the family of the hawks. This animal is a predator. These birds are migratory. In the summer they fly to the nesting places and bring off offspring there. Such places are the mountains of the Caucasus, Sayan and the steppes of the TransBaikal Territory.


The steppe eagle has large sizes, the animal has a small rounded tail. In adult birds, the color is brown, but with age it can become darker. Permanent color is formed only by 6 years of life. Young individuals can be calculated on a white strip on the wing, and adult individuals have transverse strips that are on the fly wings. They have a white spot above the tail.

Sexual dimorphism is expressed in size: the female is smaller than the male. The length of the body of male individuals is approximately 70 cm, and in females this indicator is in the range of 75-90 cm. The wing length of animals is about 60 centimeters. Males weigh from 2 to 4 kg, and females from 3 to 5.

Where it lives

Steppe eagle can be found in the steppe and semideserts in the north of Eurasia. Birds also live on the plains and in the steppe areas near the mountains. So, these animals inhabit Russia and Kazakhstan, China and part of the territory of Mongolia. The largest population is located in Kazakhstan, its number is about 50 thousand bird couples.

They winter mainly in Africa, especially in its southern and central part, as well as in India and in Turkmenistan. Russian steppe eagles prefer Uzbekistan for these purposes.  This happens from the beginning of September to March.

What eats

Typically, the eagle consumes approximately half a pound of food per day, but often it puts out food in the goiter, where it is stored for a day or two. The animal feeds on gophers, mice and rats, thereby benefiting in the fight against these destroyers of agricultural land. It also hunts hares and small chicks of other species. Sometimes a steppe eagle eats and carrion, but less often reptiles. The predator eaten more actively when the Saigak population was huge. 10 eagles immediately flew into one carcass.

At first, the bird tracks the object from a height, and then quickly rushes to the victim, previously stretched out paws with claws. Often the eagle arranges an ambush near the colony of gophers using a bump as a cover. It is worth some individuals to move away from the rest, the predator grabs it and quickly runs away. There is a time when the number of gophers is declining and then the steppe eagles do not create nests, but fly away in search of victims far from their habitat. Although usually only young individuals lead such a way of life.

Propagation and parental behavior

Around April, animals are already preparing for the beginning of the reproduction period. At the very first meeting of the future couple, the male flies near the female and, if she likes the territory of this individual, they become a couple.

These birds are monogamous, but if the partner dies, they will quickly find him a replacement. Usually during the marriage games they love to spin for a long time, dive and chase each other in the air.

Animals can create nests both on the ground and on the crons of trees in a place where you can fly up from above. You can also find their nests on rocky protrusions. In general, they love to find any elevations, such as a hay of hay and nest there.

There is always a litter of manure, wool and materials created by a person: papers, rags in the bird’s nest. Often there you can see plastic with pieces of clothing.

The female lays eggs in May. Usually their number does not exceed 4. They have a light shell with lightcolored spots of ocher. The break between the elimination of eggs is 3 days. The female violates them a little more than a month- about 40-45 days. Chicks are always of different ages, because often the smallest is dying due to lack of food. They live in the nest for about 60 days, but they gain complete independence when they are 75-80 days. Eagles are eaten with gophers.

Life expectancy

Steppe eagles live about 30 or even 40 years in captivity, and in nature the figure decreases to 8 years on average.

Interesting Facts

  1. During the period of autumn migration, eagles can fly 6 thousand kilometers. In the spring, this indicator decreases to 4 thousand km.
  2. Birds can fly at an altitude of 7 kilometers, this figure is close to the height of the flight
  3. Animals can discern the mouse being 2 km at an altitude, they have 5 times more sensitive cells in the eyes than in humans.
  4. A lot of food can fit in the goiter: about a third of the mass of the animal.
  5. The female takes care of the chicks, and the male hunt.
  6. Bird’s voice scream. They make this sound during marriage games and to call for me food.
  7. Animals do not conflict with other pairs, usually settled a kilometer from each other.


On the territory of Eurasia, the steppe eagles are listed in the Red Book. Over 15 years, animal population has decreased by more than 90 percent. Now there are only 1895 pairs of these birds. This is due to the fact that people actively master the steppes to create farmland and villages, the destruction of rodents-animal feed. Also, cattle are often driven through them, because animals die. They die on unprotected laps due to current strikes.

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