The Eagle Watchers: Observing and Conserving Raptors Around the World


Eagles have fascinated humans for millennia. For some, the glimpse of a distant eagle instantly becomes a treasured lifelong memory. Others may never encounter a wild eagle in their lifetime. This book was written by people who have dedicated years to the study of eagles, to provide an insider's view for all readers, but especially those who have never been up close and personal with these magnificent yet often misunderstood creatures.

In their stories, twenty-nine leading eagle...

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The Eagle Watchers: observing and conserving raptors around the world

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Eagles have fascinated humans for millennia. For some, the glimpse of a distant eagle instantly becomes a treasured lifelong memory. Others may never encounter a wild eagle in their lifetime. This book was written by people who have dedicated years to the study of eagles, to provide an insider's view for all readers, but especially those who have never been up close and personal with these magnificent yet often misunderstood creatures.

In their stories, twenty-nine leading eagle researchers share their remarkable field experiences, providing personal narratives that don't feature in their scientific publications. They tell of their fear at being stalked by grizzly bears, their surprise at being followed by the secret police, their embarrassment when accidentally firing mortar rockets over a school gymnasium, and their sense of awe at tracking eagles via satellite. The reader experiences the cultural shock of being guest of honor at a circumcision ceremony, the absurdity of sharing an aquatic car with the Khmer Rouge, and the sense of foreboding at being press-ganged into a frenzied tribal death march through the jungle.

The Eagle Watchers covers twenty-four species on six continents, from well known (bald eagle; golden eagle), to obscure (black-and-chestnut eagle; New Guinea harpy eagle), and from common (African fish eagle) to critically endangered (Philippine eagle; Madagascar fish eagle). The diverse experiences vividly described in this book reveal the passion, dedication, and sense of adventure shared by those who study these majestic birds and strive for their conservation.

Featuring stunning color photographs of the eagles, information on raptor conservation, a global list of all eagle species with ranges and conservation status, and a color map of the sites visited in the book, The Eagle Watchers will appeal to birders, conservationists, and adventure travelers alike. To further support the conservation programs described in this book, all royalties are being donated to two leading nonprofit organizations for raptor conservation training and fieldwork: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Intern Program and the National Birds of Prey Trust.

Contributors: Bill Clark (Solitary Eagle, Mexico); Rob Davies (Verreaux's Eagle, South Africa); Miguel Ferrer (Spanish Imperial Eagle, Spain); Martin Gilbert (New Guinea Harpy Eagle, New Guinea); Justin Grant (White-tailed Sea Eagle, Scotland); Teryl G. Grubb (Bald Eagle, United States); Alan R. Harmata (Bald Eagle, United States); Björn Helander (White-tailed Sea Eagle, Sweden); Andrew Jenkins (Martial Eagle, South Africa); Sarah Karpanty (Madagascar Serpent Eagle, Madagascar); Todd E. Katzner (Eastern Imperial Eagle, Kazakhstan); John A. Love (White-tailed Sea Eagle, Scotland); Carol McIntyre (Golden Eagle, United States); Bernd-U. Meyburg (Lesser Spotted Eagle, Czechoslovakia and Germany); Hector C. Miranda Jr. (Philippine Eagle, Philippines); Malcolm Nicoll (Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Cambodia); Vincent Nijman (Javan Hawk-Eagle, Indonesia); Penny Olsen (Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia); Keisuke Saito (Steller's Sea Eagle, Japan); Susanne Shultz (African Crowned Eagle, Ivory Coast); Robert E. Simmons (Wahlberg's Eagle, South Africa); Ruth E. Tingay (Madagascar Fish Eagle, Madagascar); Janeene Touchton (Harpy Eagle, Panama); Ursula Valdez (Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Peru); Munir Z. Virani (African Fish Eagle, Kenya); Jeff Watson (Golden Eagle, Scotland); Mark Watson (New Guinea Harpy Eagle, New Guinea); Richard T. Watson (Bateleur, South Africa); Jason Wiersma (White-bellied Sea Eagle, Tasmania)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Eagle Watchers is literary alchemy, putting an engaging, human face to the great birds of prey that have, since the beginning of human history, awed and inspired us. It has already won a strategic spot on my bookshelf but that honor still awaits a time when the book finds itself free of my hands."—Pete Dunne, Vice-president New Jersey Audubon Society

"Eagles are the most riveting of all the world's wild birds—and eagle biologists, who brave some of the harshest conditions on the planet, are among the most intrepid of scientists. The Eagle Watchers explores the twinned worlds of observer and observed, from the rain forests of Asia, Africa and South America to the steppes of Kazakhstan and the mountains of Alaska, with dozens of ornithologists who recount experiences with poachers, land mines, wilderness camps, guerrillas and even a tense face-off between warring New Guinea tribesmen—all to learn more about some of the world's 75 species of eagles."—Scott Weidensaul, author, Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding

Library Journal
This informative, authoritative, and engaging volume features 29 leading eagle researchers sharing their experiences of studying eagles in the wild; 24 species on six continents are described, each with a page of information that includes common name, scientific name, other names, IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) conservation status, description, size, threats, distribution, and more. The author biographies reveal that they are unusual people—Ph.D.'s, renegades, mainstream academics, and creative mavericks. Author photographs are augmented by 14 spectacular color photos of the regal eagles. The book's informality is a major asset. Here are experts telling us amazing stories, during relaxed moments. The editors also chip in with a general chapter on eagle diversity, ecology, and conservation. VERDICT Highly recommended for naturalists, birders, and students.—Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801448737
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,153,228
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Tingay is a wildlife ecologist and studies eagles in Scotland, Madagascar, Cambodia, the Solomon Islands,and Mongolia. She is the current President of the Raptor Research Foundation.

Todd E. Katzner is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and at Duquesne University. He studies eagles in Kazakhstan, the Philippines, and the United States.

Keith L. Bildstein is Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.

Jemima Parry-Jones, MBE, is director of the International Centre for Birds of Prey.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Keith L. Bildstein Jemima Parry-Jones xi

Preface Ruth E. Tingay Todd E. Katzner xiii

1 Eagle Diversity, Ecology, and Conservation Todd E. Katzner Ruth E. Tingay 1

2 New Guinea Harpy Eagle Mark Watson Martin Gilbert 26

3 Golden Eagle Carol McIntyre Jeff Watson 40

4 Lesser Spotted Eagle Bernd-U. Meyburg 53

5 Wedge-tailed Eagle Penny Olsen 60

6 Madagascar Serpent Eagle Sarah Karpanty 65

7 Bald Eagle Alan R. Harmata Teryl G. Grubb 73

8 Verreaux's Eagle Rob Davies 87

9 Eastern Imperial Eagle Todd E. Katzner 95

10 Steller's Sea Eagle

11 Spanish Imperial Eagle Miguel Ferrer 106

12 Madagascar Fish Eagle Ruth E. Tingay 112

13 African Crowned Eagle Susanne Shultz 119

14 Grey-headed Fishing Eagle Malcolm Nicoll 126

15 Wahlberg's Eagle Robert E. Simmons 133

16 Solitary Eagle Bill Clark 140

17 Javan Hawk-Eagle Vincent Nijman 146

18 African Fish Eagle Munir Z. Virani 153

19 Bateleur Richard T. Watson 159

20 Harpy Eagle Janeene Touchton 167

21 White-bellied Sea Eagle Jason Wiersma 174

22 Martial Eagle Andrew Jenkins 181

23 White-tailed Sea Eagle Justin Grant Björn Helander John A. Love 188

24 Black-and-chestnut Eagle Ursula Valdez 207

25 Philippine Eagle Hector C. Miranda Jr. 214

Appendix. Conservation Status of the World's Eagles 223

Further Reading 229

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good read for anyone interested in eagles or raptor research.

    This book basically begins each section with a profile of a particular eagle (i.e. New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Bateleur, etc.) and offers very brief information about it's conservation status, habitat preferences, dietary habits, and other information, which is followed by a profile of the researcher writing the anecdote and finally the anecdote about that researcher's experience studying the species of eagle. Some of the stories are better than others (some being very interesting and others a bit dry) and all offer an interesting look at the rigeurs of being a research biologist studying at times what can be an elusive and difficult subject. As the title of this review says, this is a good read for anyone interested in eagles or eagle research. I would also recommend this book for it's profiles and excellent photographs of many lesser known eagle species.

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