The Peregrine Falcon

Overview

The first edition of The Peregrine Falcon was widely recognized as a classic of its kind, documenting not only the species' biology but the sad story of its decline due to the impact of pesticides. This extensively revised and enlarged second edition takes full account of important new developments in the story of this bird during the years since the first publication. Many of the tables and figures have been revised and brought up-to-date so that this volume is by far the most detailed and readable reference on ...
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1980 Hardcover New First edition. Dr. Ratcliffe's account of this especially interesting bird of prey is not only a detailed, definitive study by an internationally ... acknowledged authority, it is also a wel composed work with an easy flow that conceals its author's skilled presentation. The pesticide story has a chapter to itself but the book's wide range includes The Peregrine and Man, breeding, distribution and numbers, food and feeding habits, hesting, migration, population regulation and dynamics, ecological relationships with other birds, enemies, appearance, form, and geographical variation, conservation, and the future. Illustrated with b&w drawings and photos. Three color plates by Donald WATSON. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The first edition of The Peregrine Falcon was widely recognized as a classic of its kind, documenting not only the species' biology but the sad story of its decline due to the impact of pesticides. This extensively revised and enlarged second edition takes full account of important new developments in the story of this bird during the years since the first publication. Many of the tables and figures have been revised and brought up-to-date so that this volume is by far the most detailed and readable reference on this most evocative of birds. Donald Watson's color paintings, monochrome washes and line drawings, as well as the original photographs, illustrate the book as before.

Key Features:


*

The long awaited up-to-date revision of the classic bestseller
*

Latest information on status and distribution of the species
*

Updated information on all aspects of the species biology

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780931130052
  • Publisher: Buteo Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1980
  • Pages: 416

Table of Contents

Preface to the first edition xix
Preface to the second edition xxiii
Acknowledgements xxv
Further acknowledgements xxxi
Introduction -a reminiscence 1
1. THE PEREGRINE AND MAN
Before the record began 7
The age of falconry 12
The age of game preserving 20
The pigeon fanciers 24
The egg collectors 25
The falconers today 28
The ornithologists 30
Man the dominant animal 32
2. THE PEREGRINE'S COUNTRY
The coast 36
Inland 41
Other regions of the world 51
3. POPULATION TRENDS IN BRITAIN
Practical problems of counting Peregrines 55
Establishing a base-line of population size 58
Short-term behaviour of population 60
Earlier population trends 62
The war-time decline 64
The pesticide crash 66
The recovery and increase 69
4. DISTRIBUTION AND NUMBERS IN BRITAIN
South-east England 73
South-west England 76
South Wales 79
North Wales 81
Eastern England 85
Midlands and Lancashire Lowlands 86
The Pennines 87
Lakeland 89
The Cheviots 93
The Isle of Man 93
Southern Scotland 94
The Scottish Highlands and Islands 98
The southern and eastern Highlands 100
The northern and western Highlands 105
Ireland 111
5. FOOD AND FEEDING HABITS
General aspects of prey selection 116
Food in the breeding season 120
Food outside the breeding season 131
Unusual prey 132
Food requirements 135
Predation level and impact 138
Hunting techniques and performance 144
6. NESTING HABITAT
The nest site 161
The nesting cliff 167
Use of alternative sites and cliffs 174
Adaptation to other kinds of nesting place 176
7. THEBREEDING CYCLE: PAIRING AND COURTSHIP
The pair-bond in winter 185
The pre-laying period 186
Pairing 186
Courtship, hunting and flight display 188
Courtship feeding 190
Ledge displays 191
Copulation 194
Threat 195
Variation in courtship behaviour 197
Dominance relations within the pair 198
Bigamy 199
Territorial and defence aggression 200
Reversed sexual size dimorphism 203
8. THE BREEDING CYCLE: LAYING TO FLEDGING
The egg stage 205
The young stage 227
Brood size 245
Breeding performance 249
9. MOVEMENTS AND MIGRATION
Outside Britain 254
Within Britain 255
Peregrine ringing returns affecting Britain and Ireland By C. J. Mead 259
10. BREEDING DENSITY AND TERRITORY
Geographical differences in breeding density 267
Territorial behaviour and its influence on breeding density 270
Breeding density and food supply 274
Territorial behaviour and food supply 280
11. POPULATION DYNAMICS AND REGULATION
The annual balance-sheet in numbers 285
The pre-1956 population 288
The post-1956 population 290
Limitations on breeding populations 292
Population stability and food supply 294
The non-breeding element of population 297
Status of non-breeding Peregrines 299
Sex ratio 300
Concluding thoughts on population dynamics 301
12. ECOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER BIRDS
Other predators 304
Prey species 313
13. THE PESTICIDE STORY
How it began 322
How it happened 324
The turning of the tide 328
A mystery resolved 329
The pattern of recovery 334
Marine pollution 344
Other countries 346
Some reflections 352
14. OTHER ENEMIES
Mammal predators 356
Parasites and disease 358
Disease in the Peregrine By John Cooper 360
15. APPEARANCE, FORM AND GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATION
The nominate form 362
Other races 367
16. CONSERVATION AND THE FUTURE
Appendices
1. Plant species in the text 385
2. Bird species in the text 386
3. Vertebrate non-avian species in the text 388
4. Calls of the Peregrine 389
5. Some English names of the Peregrine 391
Bibliography 392
Tables 1-31 405
Index 445
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