Steppe Eagle / Steppearend

Uploaded 18 Sep 2011 — 3 favorites
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© Rick Vink
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Taken @ Olmense Zoo, Olmen (B)

The Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a bird of prey. It is about 62–81 cm (24–32 in) in length and has a wingspan of 165–200 cm (65–79 in). Females, weighing 2.3–4.9 kg (5–10.8 lbs), are slightly larger than males, at 2–3.5 kg (4.4–7.7 lbs). Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the non-migratory Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific. They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy (Clark, 1992; Olson, 1994; Sangsteret al., 2002); two molecular studies, each based on a very small number of genes, indicate that the species are distinct but disagree over how closely related they are.

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