Ospreys are one of the few bird species that are found throughout the world. From forests in Hokkaido to rivers in Oregon and islands off Australia, ospreys steal the show as nature lovers easily watch them build their massive nests and tend to their young. The fact that the osprey is one of the few large birds that can hover adds to its mystique, and to watch it plunge into the water, emerging with a fish clutched in its talons, is truly a sight one will remember.
As widespread as Ospreys are, not long ago they were under threat of extinction. During the 1950s and '60s, scientists tied the decline of osprey populations to the heavy use of DDT and other human pollutants. In the 1980s, ospreys began a slow recovery due to the efforts of conservationists and through the resilience of the adaptable raptors themselves. Today they are again considered common in most parts of the world, although some populations remain threatened.
In this gorgeously illustrated book, Alan F. Poole, one of America's premier osprey experts, has written a lyrical exposé of these majestic creatures, describing their daily habits and exploring their relationship with the environment. Ospreys: The Revival of a Global Raptor celebrates the species' miraculous recovery from contaminants and hunters, chronicles their spectacular long-distance migrations, and unveils their vital role in bringing life to coastal habitats. Few other birds have such a hold on the human imagination. This book shows us why.
1 Introduction: This Famed Bird
2 A Hawk That Fishes
3 The Geography of Ospreys
4 Finding Food
5 At the Nest
6 On the Wing: Incredible Journeys
7 Threats and Solutions
8 Looking Ahead
Alan Poole, an associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is the former editor of the Birds of North America life history series. He has been studying New England Ospreys for over 35 years.
"[...] Poole's Ospreys is an informative and beautifully illustrated volume on one of bird conservation's success stories. It will be a welcome addition to any raptor biologist's library and should inspire the next generation of Osprey biologists."
– Ted R. Anderson, Ibis 162(2), April 2020
"There is no place else one could turn to read so much about what Osprey researchers have discovered in the past three decades. Full of spectacular images, this book will delight both the birding community and a vast lay audience hungry for anything Osprey related."
– Rob Bierregaard, Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University
"For three decades, Poole's first book on Ospreys has been the bible for enthusiasts and researchers of this charismatic species. Once waning worldwide, Osprey populations have recovered, in no small part due to Poole's efforts to raise awareness. This highly readable synthesis of current knowledge will prove just as essential."
– Penny Olsen, The Australian National University
"In this gripping global survey, Alan Poole celebrates the return of one of everyone's favorite raptors. Authoritative, lyrically written, and splendidly illustrated, this book congratulates a deserving and wonderful bird that has made it back from the brink. Ospreys is an inspired story of a conservation triumph. We need more such stories."
– Frank B. Gill, author of Ornithology
"I've eagerly awaited Alan Poole's new book on Ospreys and I'm not disappointed – this is a spectacular account of an iconic raptor known and loved throughout the world. Poole chronicles its conservation and recovery with spell-binding text and beautiful photos. A must-have book."
– Roy Dennis, author of A Life of Ospreys
"Over my lifetime Ospreys went from vanished to victorious because of a small number of people, including Alan Poole, author of the book in your hands. Alan has lived, breathed, worked, and thought 'Osprey' like no other human ever has. This wonderful book reflects deep knowledge driven by even deeper passion. Every time I see the Ospreys over my house, or gaze across the water at Gardiner's Island, I thank Alan Poole."
– Carl Safina, New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
"Here are remarkable facts about Osprey life history, migration, and adaptations, with insight into conservation challenges. If you care about Ospreys and their water world, this book will quickly become your go-to reference. This is a must-read for Osprey fans."
– Stephen W. Kress, National Audubon Society
"A must have for those with a serious interest in Ospreys."
– Ian Paulsen – Birdbooker Report