By: Penny Olsen(Author), Sean Dooley(Foreword By)
207 pages, 200+ colour & b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps
The sight of a mighty eagle soaring above the earth, the thrilling stoop of a falcon slicing the sky, the precision of a kestrel poised above a paddock, the resonant hoot of an owl as darkness falls, the authority of a hawk-owl perched, clutching its prize – these are images of the raptors, birds that have long awed and inspired humankind. Yet, our relationship with the birds of prey has always been conflicted. The diurnal raptors are admired for their strength and independence, but despised for their depredations on livestock and favourite garden birds, while the owls are at once respected for their wisdom and watchfulness and feared for their mournful cries and association with darkness and ill-omen.
Australian Predators of the Sky covers over two centuries of the discovery, naming and illustration of these bold and beautiful birds. All 34 Australian species are represented—25 diurnal birds of prey and nine owls. Over 200 striking paintings, lithographs and engravings have been selected from the National Library of Australia's collection, many the first-ever depiction of the species. The artists include George Raper and John Hunter (First Fleet naval officers), Sarah Stone, John and Elizabeth Gould, Henry Constantine Richter, Henrik Grönvold, Ellis Rowan, Neville Henry Cayley, Lionel Lindsay, Lilian Medland, Ebenezer Edward Gostelow, and, more recently, Betty Temple Watts, Frank Knight and Jeff Davies.
- Discovering Australia's Birds of Prey 1
- About Australia's Birds of Prey 19
- Birds of Prey – Diurnal 29
- Birds of Prey – Nocturnal 147
- Biographies of Artists 188
- List of illustrations 195
- Further reading 207
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