Size: Length 66-79cms (26-31ins).
Habitat: Plains and steppes. (Russia).
Reproduction: 1-3eggs. April-May. 45 day incubation.
Diet: Rodents, ground birds, locusts and termites.
The Steppe Eagle is actually the Russian sub-species of the Tawny Eagle .A close relative of the Golden Eagle, bird watchers often get them confused because of their similarities.
On migration from Russia to Africa, Steppe Eagles have been recorded at heights of 22,000ft. The round trip is 16,000 miles!
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Size: Length.75-88cm(30-35ins). Wingspan 204-220cm(80-87ins).
Habitat: Open,mountainous country. (Europe).
Reproduction: 2 eggs. March-July. 43-45 day incubation.
Diet: Large mammals & birds.Some carrion.
Golden Eagles build huge nests sometimes as much as 3.5 metres high & 1.5 metres in diameter.
They generally hatch 2 chicks but usually only the elder survives.
Only kings were once allowed to hunt with Golden Eagles hence the birds royal association.
Scotland has 480 pairs – 15% of the European population.
Russian Steppe Eagles hunt mole hills. They wait until one moves & pounce & dig it up!
Golden Eagles can have up to eight nests in their vast territory.
The Golden Eagle is not our largest British raptor. It is in fact the White – Tailed Sea Eagle that lives on the islands off Scotland.
Golden Eagles are mainly from Scotland where there are approximately 420 pairs. There is one pair in the Lake District, England. They are now extinct in Wales and also Southern England. The last records state birds shot in Tunbridge Wells and the Isle of Wight in 1927.