In Behavior of the Golden Eagle, the action patterns and activities of the golden eagle are described and most are illustrated in great detail. Names and titles are given for each action pattern, and those that are most useful in determining health and level of disturbance are discussed. There is also a brief chapter on the history of behavioural studies as they apply to raptors. The dangers associated with studying raptors at close range are presented and techniques are outlined for minimizing disturbance. Recommendations are also made for exclusion zones for various environmental stressors/hazards around eagle eyries and in prey concentration zones.
This book is not just applicable to the golden eagle though, as hawks and other eagles behave very much like the golden eagle. When a reader becomes familiar with the ideas and terms presented herein, he/she is prepared for doing behavioural research on dozens of species. The illustrations are also designed for use in training technicians to recognize and report healthy and aberrant behaviour of diurnal raptors. Further, in a day when web cameras broadcast intimate details of bird behaviour around the world, Behavior of the Golden Eagle provides the lexicon, the nomenclature, for discussing all that is seen.
N. John Schmitt has had a life-long interest in birds and art. This passion led to extensive travel as a field biologist or ecotourism guide. John has drawn birds for most of his life. His art appears in many articles and a dozen books now in print, including several field guides for birds in North America, Latin America, and India.