22. November 2015
Although not closely related from an evolutionary point of view, owls are often ecologically similar to raptors. And some owls strongly interact with diurnal raptors via competition or even predation. For example, the Eurasian Eagle Owl can be a powerful predator of most European raptors species and also other owls.
For this reason, and because owls a very interesting birds, I’ve added species accounts for the owls. Currently they are empty but content is coming soon. Make sure to come back regularly.
I’ll first start working on the Eurasian Eagle Owl and Ural Owl.
22. November 2015
Gerald Malle and Remo Probst have recently published a German book about the ecology and conservation of the Eurasian Scops Owl with a focus on Austria and Carinthia (a federal state in the south of Austria at the Slovenian and Italian border).
This is the most comprehensive book currently available on the species. Before that book, Remo Probst had already written or edited several other fantastic books on the Eurasian Hobby, White-tailed Eagle and Great Grey Shrike. This book is a must for anyone interested in the Eurasian Scops Owl in particular as well as owls in general.
The book can be ordered here:
Naturwissenschaftlicher Verein für Kärnten
More information about the conservation project can be found here:
15. November 2015
Three new books (written in Spanish) are currently being written with the first volume already available. The 1st book covers the European eagles, the 2nd book the remainig raptors and the 3rd book is about the European owls.
The first volume is called “Aves de Presa – Las Águilas de España y Europa” and covers the european eagles.
The book are a mix of great pictures and interesting text. I will publish a short review once I have a copy in my hands.
Aves de Presa – Las Águilas de España y Europa
20. September 2015
A well written book on the ecology and behaviour of the Common Buzzard has long been missing. But not anymore.
With “The Life of Buzzards” Peter Dare has written a wonderful book on that fascinating species.
Although often ignored by bird watchers because the species is now common in many places, the Common Buzzard is a fascinating bird and shows a lot of interesting behaviour (just image the wonderful courtship displays with undulating flights similar to a Golden Eagle).
A lot of research has been done in recent decades on the ecology and behaviour of the Common Buzzard. The author of this new book has been studying Common Buzzards himself for many decades.
The book has about 300 pages and describes in detail the author’s studies and how the Buzzard’s life changes during the different seasons from winter to autumn.
In 15 chapters the book covers breeding biology, territory, dispersal, population dynamics and much more. A huge portion of the book is devoted to the diet and feeding ecology of the Common Buzzard – which, unlike many people believe, eats more than just voles.
The last chapter covers the decline and subsequent recovery of the Common Buzzard in the UK. The species is now much more common in the UK that it used to be and it has recovered many areas where it was absent for decades.
Although the main focus of the author’s studies have been Buzzards in the UK, the book also covers buzzard studies in other countries like Germany and Poland. This is a great bonus to the book as there are of course differences in climate, landscape or prey species across Europe and by including research from other countries the author manages to paint a much broader of ecology of Common Buzzards.
The book is very well written in an English that easy to understand. It is not a dry scientific book, but still scientifically accurate, and the text clearly shows the admiration Peter Dare has for his study subject.
Whittles Published has published several great raptor books over the last years. This is my favorite so far and I highly recommend it to everyone interested in Common Buzzards in particular but also in raptors or birds in general.
More information about the book can be found on the Publishers Website:
The Life of Buzzards
14. February 2015
Whittles Publishing has announced the publication (March 2015) of a new book by Dr. Peter Dare called “The Life of Buzzards”.
The book covers the Common Buzzard. It is great to see that finally a new book about the biology of this fascinating raptor is now being published.
According to the website the book covers:
- The fascinating lives of Buzzards are revealed from extensive studies over many years
- A long overdue update of the natural history and ecology of the Common Buzzard
- Provides detailed accounts of their breeding cycle from courtship until fledging of broods
- Guidance provided on Buzzard breeding studies including interpretation of aerial behaviour
More information about the book on the publishers website:
The Life of Buzzards.
The publisher will send me a copy of the book (many thanks to Whittles Publishing!). A review of the book will follow once I’ve read it.
6. July 2014
When the 1st edition of the German book “Die Greifvögel Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens” was published in 2006 I was really excited and it immediately became one of my favorite bird books. A huge volume with about 500 pages it was the most comprehensive and detailed overview of all European raptors.
Since 2006 a lot has happened for European raptors. Many new papers have been published and the populations of some specie have increased considerably, for example the numbers of the White-tailed Eagle in many countries.
I was very happy when the publisher sent me a review copy of the new 2nd edition that was published in June 2014. It has been fully updated and hundreds of new scientific papers and publications have been added to the species accounts and for many species the population numbers have the latest data available during writing, very often from 2013, sometimes even from 2014.
For example the book now lists 760 pairs of White-tailed Eagles in Germany in 2013 as compared to “more than 470” in the 1st edition.
The book has two parts. The first part is worth the price alone. It is one of the best introductions into raptor ecology and conservation available and definitely the best in German. In over 100 pages the authors describe in detail and in an easy to read language how raptors live and how to protect them.
The second part of the book has detailed species accounts for all raptors that regularly occur in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Vagrants like Amur Falcons or Rüppel’s Vultures are not covered but very rare breeding species like the Lappet-faced Vulture or the beautiful African Black Eagle are covered.
The species accounts are very detailed and cover many topics including the names of the birds (names are given for German, English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Polish and Russian), identification, voice, distribution, population, population trends, habitat, density, territory and homerange, behavior, hunting, prey, breeding biology, dispersal and migration, threads, conservation and open questions (where further research is needed).
There is a slight focus on Germany in some parts of the book but this really is a book about all of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
This book is the best, most up to date and most comprehensive overview of raptors in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and it deserves a very wide readership.
The authors have done an amazing job going through so much literature and summing it all up in such an easy to read but still very accurate and comprehensive way.
This will be the most important book on European raptors for many years to come!
Highly recommend to everyone interested in raptors!
About the language:
The book is written in German and there are no English summaries. I hope that it will be translated into many languages, particularly into English!
More information about the book can be found on the publishers website:
Die Greifvögel Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens
28. April 2014
The reintroduction project for the Cinereous Vulture (or Black Vulture) is doing very well.
As the Spanish NGO Grefa writes, there are currently 6 pairs breeding the the Pre-Pyrenees:
For more information see here:
6 Black Vulture pairs are incubating in Lleida’s Pre-Pyrenees
6 parejas de buitre negro están incubando en el Prepirineo de Lleida
17. April 2014
Recently, Tundra Ediciones published a new beautiful raptor book called “Viaja a las rapaces” (Journey to the raptors).
It is completely in Spanish. It is not a scientific work but still very interesting. It aims to “bring the emotions of watching raptors in the wild” to the reader.
Erything is beautifully illustrated with wonderful drawings.
The book is written and illustrated by Juan Varela and Víctor J. Hernández.
More information about the book can be found here:
Viaje a las rapaces
4. March 2014
Belize, a small country south of Mexico is a fantastic place for watching neotropical raptors and other birds and animals like the Morelet’s crocodile.
It is a great place to see raptors like the Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk Eagle, King Vulture, White Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Orange-breasted Falcon and many more.
With some (or maybe a lot of) luck even Jaguar sightings might be possible.
A wonderful way to travel to Belize is with the great guys from the Belize Raptor Research Institute. They know the place like no other, have an in-depth knowlegde of the indentification and ecology of the local raptors and wildlife and actively do conservation work in Belize for raptors like the Solitary Eagle.
I was on a trip with them myself in December 2012 and it was spectacular with many raptors and other amazing sightings, great food, wonderful people and many fantastic experiences.
Their next trip is in August 2014. If you want to do Neotropical birding or raptor watching, this will be a fantastic trip.
Event: 2014 Belize Raptor Tour: An Experience of a Lifetime!
8. December 2013
A new book about the Peregrine Falcons of the World has been published.
More information incl. how to order it can be found here
Peregrine Falcons of the World