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The most memorable and evocative fact about birds is that they fly, but most of the great bird illustrators, arts and photographers show us birds at rest. Not so the seven photographers whose work is collected in "On Feathered Wings". This international group specializes in capturing birds in flight and each strives to out-do the others in documenting the lives of birds in the air.
The most intrepid flyers among the birds are the long distance migrators and the birds of prey. These creatures are built for endurance or speed. Most birds can do in the air almost anything they can do at rest, including eating and sleeping. The only exception is breeding.
"On Feathered Wings" explains the basics of bird flight: from how they do it to how it evolved. But the indisputable stars of On Feathered Wings are the birds themselves, seen in vivid sharp focus and amazing detail: a Peregrine falcon in a 100-mph dive; two black skimmers fighting in mid-air; a snowy owl keying in on dinner; an arctic tern fishing; a barn swallow feeding her young.
Richard Ettlinger has been a major force in pioneering techniques and creating worldwide interest in birding action photography for over 20 years. Ettlinger, who has played a lead role in conservation projects, has appeared in Natures Best Honors in its wildlife category and in Birder's World.
"[...] The various issues with this volume are disappointing, but mostly insignificant. There is no denying that the photographs collected here are amazing, and in some cases startlingly unique. Check out any of the several photos of Bald Eagles and I’m sure you will agree. Or consider the unforgettable shot of a stooping American Kestrel filling the page. And then there is my favorite image – a Least Tern flying directly toward the lens, wings curled back, projecting such attitude and liveliness. Just this latter one alone is worth the cost of the book to me. Aficionados of bird photography will definitely want this unique book, and all bird lovers should appreciate it. Leave it sitting around the house and any non-birders who leaf through it just may be converted."
- Grant McCreary (14-05-2008), read the full review at The Birder's Library