Format: Hardcover, 294 pages
Publisher: University Of California Press, June, 2005
California Natural History Guides #82
Raptors - the charismatic group of birds that includes hawks, eagles, and falcons - evoke power, swiftness, and grace. Raptors, or birds of prey, gaze calmly about while at rest, exuding confidence and nobility, and, while soaring aloft, they are absolute icons of the California landscape. Featuring descriptions of every diurnal California raptor, this state-of-the-art, beautifully illustrated guide is the first to combine identification of these important birds with a comprehensive discussion of their natural history.
Raptors of California notes well-established field marks in addition to introducing several new pointers that help distinguish especially difficult species. More than a field guide, the book also includes information on raptor anatomy, foraging, reproduction, movement, where and how to observe raptors, human-raptor interactions, raptor conservation, endangered species, caring for injured hawks, falconry, and more. Of special interest is the inclusion of previously unpublished descriptions of raptor behavior and many fascinating anecdotes and vivid observations from the field that provide new insights into the lives of these captivating birds.
This book covers 27 species, with range maps for the 18 species regularly occurring in California. It has 104 color figures including photographs and wash drawings illustrating habitats, anatomy, field marks, and behavior. The 12 full-page color plates show the various plumages of each species--including rarities--as well as their appearance in flight. A great reference work, it is also highly readable and accessible, even when covering complicated topics such as flight and evolutionary adaptations.
"Although written for California, this book will be prized by raptor watchers from around the US for its insightful and descriptive notes on behavior and ecology and its gorgeous and accurate paintings." - Allen Fish, Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.
"This is actually two books for the price of one; the introductory chapters stand-alone as an excellent natural history of North America raptors, and the species accounts and spectacular plates make this one of the best state raptor books available." - Lloyd Kiff, Science Director of The Peregrine Fund.