Dr. Keith L. Bildstein, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world's oldest and largest member-based raptor conservation organization, has published a new book, "Raptors: The Curious Nature of Diurnal Birds of Prey," which offers a comprehensive and accessible account of raptors, including their evolutionary history, their relationships to other groups of birds, their sensory abilities, their general natural history, their breeding ecology and feeding behavior, and threats to their survival in a human-dominated world.
The 324-page book, published by Cornell University Press, is illustrated with numerous color photos, figures, and tables. The book is available for purchase at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Visitor Center or by calling Hawk Mountain at 610-756-6961. It also is available at Amazon.com.
Raptors are formally classified info five families and include eagles, ospreys, kites, true hawks, buzzards, harriers, vultures, and falcons. Because of their large size, distinctive feeding habits, and long-distance flight patterns, raptors intrigue humans and have been the subject of much general interest as well as extensive scientific research.
Keith L. Bildstein has watched and studied raptors on five continents and is well prepared to explain their critical importance, not only as ecological entities but also as inspirational tokens across natural and human-dominated landscapes. Raptors is a biologically sound, nontechnical overview of this captivating group. It will allow naturalists, birders, hawk-watchers, science educators, schoolchildren, and the general public, along with new students in the field of raptor biology, to understand and appreciate these birds and, in so doing, to better protect them.
"From wind turbines to West Nile virus, from rat poisons to habitat loss, raptors have never been in the forefront of so much international press as they are today, and Keith L. Bildstein has done a terrific job of providing essential background information that will allow readers to put these issues in the context of what we now know about raptor biology. Raptors is a stunning overview of its subject and will be welcomed by students, birders, and biologists." —Allen Fish, Director, Golden Gate Raptor Observatory
"Keith L. Bildstein's Raptors provides one-stop shopping for anyone interested in how diurnal birds of prey go about their lives. Its global reach is impressive. This book is a tour de force that benefits from its comprehensiveness and from Bildstein's use of his personal experiences to illuminate raptor biology." —Alan Poole, Associate, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, author of Ospreys: A Natural and Unnatural History and retired editor of Birds of North America Online.
Bildstein is Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA. He is the author of Migrating Raptors of the World: Their Ecology and Conservation and White Ibis: Wetland Wanderer, coauthor of The Raptor Migration Watch-Site Manual and Raptor Watch: A Global Directory of Raptor Migration Sites, and coeditor of many books, including most recently State of North America's Birds of Prey.
The 2,500-acre Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world's first refuge for birds of prey and is open to the public year-round by trail-fee or membership, which in turn supports the non-profit organization's raptor conservation mission and local-to-global research, training, and education programs. To learn more about Hawk Mountain or other programs, please call 610-756-6961 or visit www.hawkmountain.org