Bold and beautiful, falcons hold a special place in the hearts of people. In Falcons of North America, renowned raptor advocate and environmental educator Kate Davis opens a door into the lives of these extraordinary, enigmatic birds of prey.
Since the publication of the first edition 13 years ago, advances in technology have revolutionized the study of falcons. This updated and revised second edition contains completely new classifications of the six North American falcon species based on DNA studies. Population trends are explored, with discussions of the mysterious decline of the American Kestrel and the impact of global warming on falcons, particularly the arctic-dwelling Gyrfalcon. Davis also includes fascinating details on one of the greatest conservation success stories – that of the Peregrine Falcon – from a brush with extinction in North America to greater populations than ever before, even thriving as city dwellers across the continent.
Kate Davis began life with a love of animals and was caring for mammals and raptors with the Cincinnati Zoo Junior Zoologists Club starting in 1973. Her father had a great interest in photography, tutoring Kate with a darkroom in the basement during her childhood. She received a degree in Zoology from the University of Montana in 1982 and founded the nonprofit educational organization Raptors of the Rockies in 1988. Kate keeps a dozen nonreleasable and falconry birds at the facility at her home in western Montana. She has presented 1,800 programs featuring these raptors for 136,000 people, young and old alike, plus has conducted keynote addresses across the country and one TED Talk. Her raptors are the subjects and source of inspiration for her etchings, welded steel sculptures, photography, and writing.
She has authored and illustrated five books on raptors, and Raptors of the West, with photos by Rob, Nick, and Kate, won the National Outdoor Book Award and Montana Book Award Grand Prize. Her sixth title is a blend of photography and humour, Birds Are People, Too.
"It should be no surprise if many people buy this book for the photos alone, because they are superb – both stunning and unique. But a glance at the text, which is eminently worth reading, draws a reader further into a raptor's world. The considerable amount of interesting information new to this edition makes it an excellent survey of the biology of North American falcons, written in a style that transmits the author's passion for the fascinating creatures that they are."
– Hans Peeters, author, artist, naturalist
Review of the first edition:
"[...] The photography alone is reason enough to get this book. It perfectly captures the mystique and appeal of falcons. The text is quite good as well, providing an authoritative yet comprehendible account. This book should satisfy anyone interested in these birds."
– Grant McCreary (05-04-2009), read the full review at The Birder's Library