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 Of specific interest is the inclusion of previously unpublished desriptions of raptor behaviour and many fascinating anecdotes and vivid observations from the field that provide new insights into the lives of these captivating birds.
"Although written for California, this book will be prized by raptor watchers from around the U.S. for its insightful and descriptive notes on behaviour and ecology and its gorgeous and accurate paintings." - Allen Fish, Director, Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.
"A book that far transcends its original purpose: it is much more than a good PR job. It is a creative triumph....The book starts, as others have done, with an examination of raptors in general, from their scientific names, through their biology in the widest sense to their mental faculties and continues with a review of the universals of hawk behaviour...If this should sound rather dry, do not be deceived, for this falconer knows not only what he's talking about but how to talk about it also....The many paintings made to illustrate whatever is being discussed in the text are drawings in a brown wash on tinted paper...every one of them is a gem....It may not be essentially a falconer's book but any falconer who reads it will probably feel like singing with Al Jolson, and me, 'California here I come!'" British Falconers' Journal, June 22, 2005, Review by John Loft
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 book available. - Lloyd Kiff, Science Director, The Peregrine Fund"
Preface / Introduction / What is a Raptor? / Raptor Names / A Hawk's Body / Hawk Identification / Pitfalls of Identification / Field Marks / A Hawk's Life / Hunting and Eating / Territoriallty and Reproduction / Dispersal and Migration / Finding and Watching Hawks / How to Find Hawks / Where to Look for Hawks / Finding Certain Species / Finding Raptor Nests / Circumstantial Evidence / How to Watch Hawks / Reading a Raptor's Mind / Binoculars and Spotting Scopes / Cameras and Photography / Hawk-watching Etiquette / Hawks and Humans / Attitudes Past and Present / Conservation Laws and History / Threatened and Endangered Species / Species of Special Concern / Conservation Methods / Disturbance by Humans / Caring for Injured Birds / Falconry / Recreational and Educational Activities / Species Accounts / Color Plates / Vultures / Osprey / Kites / Harriers / Accipiters / Buteos / Eagles / Falcons / Glossary / References and Works Cited / Index
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Hans J. Peeters and Pam Peeters have spent all their lives in the field bird watching. Hans J. Peeters, Professor of Biology/Zoology emeritus at Chabot College, is coauthor, with E.W. Jameson, Jr., of Mammals of California (revised edition, 2004) and American Hawking (1970). His illustrations have appeared in many bird guides including The American Bird Conservancy's All the Birds of North America (1997), Book of North American Birds (1990), and the Smithsonian's forthcoming Birds of India.