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Raptors are an unusual success story of wildness thriving in the heart of our cities – they have developed substantial populations around the world in recent decades. But there are deeper issues around how these birds make their urban homes. New research provides insight into the role of raptors as vital members of the urban ecosystem and future opportunities for protection, management, and environmental education.
A cutting-edge synthesis of over two decades of scientific research, Urban Raptors is the first book to offer a complete overview of urban ecosystems in the context of bird-of-prey ecology and conservation. This comprehensive volume examines urban environments, explains why some species adapt to urban areas but others do not, and introduces modern research tools to help in the study of urban raptors. It also delves into climate change adaptation, human-wildlife conflict, and the unique risks birds of prey face in urban areas before concluding with real-world wildlife management case studies and suggestions for future research and conservation efforts. The case studies are mostly based in the US, but there are a few international examples – specifically regarding owls in Australia and kites in Europe.
Boal and Dykstra have compiled the go-to single source of information on urban birds of prey. Among researchers, urban green space planners, wildlife management agencies, birders, and informed citizens alike, Urban Raptors will foster a greater understanding of birds of prey and an increased willingness to accommodate them as important members, not intruders, of our cities.
PART I: Raptors in Urban Ecosystems
Chapter 1. Urban Birds of Prey: A Lengthy History of Human–Raptor Cohabitation \ Keith L. Bildstein and Jean-François Therrien
Chapter 2. City Lifestyles: Behavioral Ecology of Urban Raptors \ Cheryl R. Dykstra
Chapter 3. Urban Raptor Communities: Why Some Raptors and Not Others Occupy Urban Environments \ Clint W. Boal
Chapter 4. Demography of Raptor Populations in Urban Environments \ R. William Mannan and Robert J. Steidl
Chapter 5. Urbanization and Raptors: Trends and Research Approaches \ Raylene Cooke, Fiona Hogan, Bronwyn Isaac, Marian Weaving, and John G. White
PART II: Urban Raptors
Chapter 6. Mississippi Kites: Elegance Aloft \ Ben R. Skipper
Chapter 7. Cooper’s Hawk: The Bold Backyard Hunter \ Robert N. Rosenfield, R. William Mannan, and Brian A. Millsap
Chapter 8. Red-shouldered Hawk: Adaptable Denizen of the Suburbs \ Cheryl R. Dykstra, Peter H. Bloom, and Michael D. McCrary
Chapter 9. Harris’s Hawks: All in the Family \ Clint W. Boal and James F. Dwyer
Chapter 10. Barred Owls: A Nocturnal Generalist Thrives in Wooded, Suburban Habitats \ Richard O. Bierregaard
Chapter 11. Powerful Owls: Possum Assassins Move into Town \ Raylene Cooke, Fiona Hogan, Bronwyn Isaac, Marian Weaving, and John G. White
Chapter 12. Burrowing Owls: Happy Urbanite or Disgruntled Tenant? \ Courtney J. Conway
Chapter 13. Peregrine Falcon: The Neighbors Upstairs \ Joel E. Pagel, Clifford M. Anderson, Douglas A. Bell, Edward Deal, Lloyd Kiff, F. Arthur McMorris, Patrick T. Redig, and Robert Sallinger
PART III: Conservation and Management
Chapter 14. Raptor Mortality in Urban Landscapes \ James F. Dwyer, Sofi Hindmarch, and Gail E. Kratz
Chapter 15. Raptor–Human Conflicts in Urban Settings \ Brian E. Washburn
Chapter 16. Raptors: Victims and Ambassadors—Raptor Rehabilitation, Education, and Outreach \ Lori R. Arent, Michelle Willette, and Gail Buhl
Chapter 17. Urban Raptor Case Studies: Lessons from Texas \ John M. Davis
Chapter 18. Management and Conservation of Urban Raptors \ David M. Bird, Robert N. Rosenfield, Greg Septon, Marcel A. Gahbauer, John H. Barclay, and Jeffrey L. Lincer
Chapter 19. Perspectives and Future Directions \ Stephen DeStefano and Clint W. Boal
"This edited volume draws on 40 experts to review progress in the field. [...] One strength of the book is to consider the interplay between individual behaviour and population ecology. [...] The book is highly readable. Chapters are brief and cover a diverse range of interesting and well-integrated topics. While brevity often prevents in-depth discussion, this structure allows for a broad approach, encompassing a balanced combination of theory and practice, and ranging from community ecology to management strategies. [...] Overall, the book is a very enjoyable introduction to city-living raptors, which will interest both experts in the field and the general public."
– Tommaso Pizzari, Ibis 161(4), October 2019
"[...] Overall, the book has a very natural flow and I enjoyed reading about the story and future directions of urban raptor research and management. The book is informative and is an important read for students and academics researching urban raptors. Although likely written for a scientific audience, I think the book would be an enjoyable read for those with a more casual interest in urban ecology or raptors. My one criticism is that the book is heavily focused on urban raptors in North America, and I would have liked to have seen more examples from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, I certainly would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about raptors, urban wildlife or birds in general!"
– Esther Kettel, BTO book review
"Urban Raptors is a single source for information on urban birds of prey [...] outstanding and nicely illustrated."
– Midwest Book Review
"Drawing on experts from around the world, Urban Raptors gives readers – wildlife professionals and birders alike – a thorough foundation into the lives, ecology, and conservation of the birds of prey that increasingly share the developed landscape with humans, from peregrine falcons nesting on skyscrapers to burrowing owls in the housing tracts or Cooper's hawks and barred owls in suburban backyards. Both authoritative and accessible."
– Scott Weidensaul, author of Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean
"Urban Raptors is an important book, remarkable for being the first to compile valuable knowledge for everyone from urban planners to wildlife agencies and bird watchers. While mass extinction is under way globally, it is helpful to understand that some species, including top predators, can flourish in human-dominated landscapes while others can be vulnerable in unexpected ways."
– Richard T. Watson, President and CEO, The Peregrine Fund
"Humans and raptors have successfully coexisted in towns and cities for thousands of years. Urban Raptors builds on this history and sets us up for success in the future, providing readers with a wealth of information on how raptors nest, forage, and survive in modern urban landscapes."
– Libby Mojica, President, Raptor Research Foundation