Birds of Prey Rescue: Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife


Birds of prey, otherwise known as raptors, have been respected and admired yet also feared and loathed throughout their existence. They are meat-eating birds and extremely well-equipped for the hunt, with powerful eyesight, ultra-sensitive hearing, and sharp talons. Despite these apparent advantages, many birds of prey species are seriously endangered or threatened.

This latest addition to the Firefly Animal Rescue series profiles the dedicated...

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Birds of prey, otherwise known as raptors, have been respected and admired yet also feared and loathed throughout their existence. They are meat-eating birds and extremely well-equipped for the hunt, with powerful eyesight, ultra-sensitive hearing, and sharp talons. Despite these apparent advantages, many birds of prey species are seriously endangered or threatened.

This latest addition to the Firefly Animal Rescue series profiles the dedicated people and projects around the world helping raptors to survive, including:

  • The Philippine Eagle Foundation that is bringing the Philippine eagle back from the brink of extinction;
  • Lindsay Oaks, an American microbiologist, who helped discover what is killing vultures in Asia;
  • Sophie Osborn, who monitors released California condors;
  • The biologists using Peregrine falcons as "foster parents" for the young of the endangered South American aplomado falcon.

Illustrated with 50 spectacular color photographs, Birds of Prey Rescue also addresses the general biological issues and challenges in preserving a future for endangered wildlife.

About the Firefly Animal Rescue series:

The Firefly Animal Rescue identifies endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. Combining lively, accessible text and stunning color photographs, each book provides a detailed overview of the species, describing its characteristics, behavior, habits, physiology and more.

"These attractive books are a call to action... fascinating readable accounts."
- School Library Journal

"Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language."
- Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Treasure Valley Family Magazine
Brings these great birds to vivid life explaining their importance in a balanced ecosystem... easy to read, full of interesting facts.
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice 2007
Readers will meet people from around the world who are fighting to protect these magnificent creatures.
Green Teacher - Debra Bridgman
Award winning... With beautiful photography and inspiring examples of individuals passionately devoted to wildlife conservation, these are excellent resource for the classroom or school library.
Resource Links - Angela Thompson
This is a good resource on many levels. The information is current and presented under clear and organized headings. Research is concise and the photographs are attractive and informative. There is also an excellent section at the back of the book that includes contact information for multiple Canadian and international conservation facilities and organizations.... On the whole, this is a valuable resource for students and educators.
St John's Telegram - Lynn Barter
These books have a lot of punch, not just in content, but in the presentation... magnificent color photography.
Globe and Mail - Susan Perren
In addition to her compelling text, Hickman uses striking photographs of the various species of raptors, their young and their habitats to make a strong case for preservation.
BC Parent - Elizabeth Shaffer
Plenty of vivid color photographs, maps, timelines, resources, and fast paced and informative text keep young readers interested and aid them in understanding the complex issues surrounding endangered species and their environment.
Wildlife Activist
Document past and present efforts to stave off extinction... beautifully illustrated Firefly Series. It is good stuff.
Library Media Connection - Ruie Chehak
[review of series:] Anyone interested in learning more about endangered animals will find these books fascinating... This series will make a strong addition to any school library.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
A great book for young readers interested in conservation and raptors.
Canadian Materials, Vol. 12, No. 9 - Gillian Richardson
Accounts of each specie's struggles and successes are written in engaging language accessible to middle grade audience and include top-quality dramatic photographs of both lifestyle and recovery operations. Readers may be surprised at the innovative methods used to track and document the birds' lives... If your concern is the future of endangered wildlife, this series belongs on your bookshelf.
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Starred Selection
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554071449
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/20/2006
  • Series: Firefly Animal Rescue Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Hickman is the author of 30 books about nature and wildlife, including Turtle Rescue. A biologist, she worked for many years as the education co-ordinator for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists.

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Table of Contents

Raptor Rapture
The Story So Far
Armed and Dangerous
Poisoned Prey
At Work: May Basdeo
Killing the Competition
Survival of the Cutest
On the Frontlines: Philippine Eagle Foundation
Out of Bounds
The High Life
On the Frontlines: Spanish Imperial Eagle Action Plan
Get the Lead Out
Doing the Dirty Work
At Work: Lindsay Oaks
Low Life
On the Frontlines: Operation Burrowing Owl
At Work: Craig Horner
Protective Parents
Sibling Rivalry
On the Frontlines: California Condor Restoration Project
Captive Breeding
Real Hackers
On the Frontlines: World Center for Birds of Prey
The Future for Birds of Prey
Fast Facts
How You Can Help

Photo Credits
Author's Note

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First Chapter

Raptor Rapture

Eagles have been a symbol of royalty as far back as the ancient Egyptians. The sport of falconry has been practiced in the Middle East since the 8th century B.C. For thousands of years, the power and skill of birds of prey, or raptor, have been respected and admired -- and, in some cases, feared and loathed.

There are about 420 species of raptor in the world, divided into six major families: New World vultures, including condors; Old World vultures, including hawks, eagles, harriers, osprey and kites; falcons and caracaras; secretary birds; barn owls; and all other owls.

Raptors are meat-eating birds that are well-equipped to hunt. Their eyesight is up to 10 times as powerful as a human's, and some have ultra-sensitive hearing. Their powerful feet and curved talons, or claws, are ideal for catching and killing prey and carrying it off -- a harpy eagle's talons are as big as a grizzly bear's claws. The birds' sharp beaks cut and tear the flesh of their prey, like built-in knives and forks.

Despite their expert hunting skills, many raptors species are endangered or threatened -- and it's their food that is killing them. Birds have been accidentally poisoned by pesticides and other chemicals in their prey, and deliberately poisoned with tainted bait. Habitat loss, electrocution on power lines, hunting and a declines in prey have added to their troubles.

There are success stories. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons were recently rescued from the brink of extinction in North America by the combined efforts of government, scientists and conservation groups. It took over 30 years. Now the same groups are working to save many more species of raptor. Time will tell if they can meet with the same success.

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