Birds of prey – or raptors – are some of the most captivating bird species in the world. Think of eagles and condors, vultures, hawks and kites, but also owls and ospreys. Think of the peregrine falcon, which, reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h (200 mph), is the world's fastest animal – when diving. From the New World Caracaras to the Oriental Hobby, the Northern Goshawk to the Swamp Harrier to the European Merlin, Birds of Prey explores the fascinating lifecycles, habitats, diets and, where applicable, migratory patterns, of more than 100 species from all around the world. They primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. They have keen eyesight, being able to spot their prey from great distances, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, and powerful, curved beaks for tearing flesh. In addition to hunting live prey, most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source. With full captions explaining how the species hunt and feed, nest and rear their young, Birds of Prey is a brilliant examination in 150 outstanding colour photographs.
Tom Jackson is a leading natural history writer based in the United Kingdom. As an author and contributor, he has worked on more than 60 books. A zoology graduate from the University of Bristol, he has also worked as a zookeeper and in safari parks in Zimbabwe.