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A Sparrowhawk's Lament

How British Breeding Birds of Prey Are Faring

David Cobham Bruce Pearson Chris Packham



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Princeton University Press
10 July 2017
Series: WILDGuides
Britain is home to fifteen species of breeding birds of prey, from the hedgerow-hopping Sparrowhawk to the breathtaking White-tailed Eagle. In this handsomely illustrated book, acclaimed British filmmaker and naturalist David Cobham offers unique and deeply personal insights into Britain's birds of prey and how they are faring today. He delves into
By:   David Cobham
With:   Bruce Pearson
Foreword by:   Chris Packham
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   567g
ISBN:   9780691175720
ISBN 10:   0691175721
Series:   WILDGuides
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   10 July 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Foreword 5 Introduction 6 The Sparrowhawk 9 The Osprey 26 The Honey Buzzard 42 The Red Kite 59 The White-tailed Eagle 77 The Marsh Harrier 95 The Hen Harrier 112 The Montagu's Harrier 131 The Goshawk 148 The Common Buzzard 165 The Golden Eagle 183 The Kestrel 203 The Merlin 218 The Hobby 237 The Peregrine Falcon 253 Conclusion 269 Further reading 270 Acknowledgements 271

David Cobham is a renowned British film and television producer and director, notable for such films as The Goshawk, The Vanishing Hedgerows and Tarka the Otter. Bruce Pearson is the author and illustrator of Troubled Waters: Trailing the Albatross, An Artist's Journey; Birdscape; and An Artist on Migration.

Reviews for A Sparrowhawk's Lament: How British Breeding Birds of Prey Are Faring

This is an interesting and educational book for raptor lovers and others seeking to learn about the raptors of Great Britain. --R.E.H., Wildlife Activist Having studied birds for over 70 years I thought I knew quite a bit about birds of prey, but through reading this book I have learnt far more. --Bryan Sage, Country-Side This is a book that will delight general ornithologists and birders, as well as those who see raptors as the summit of avian evolution. --Charles H. Middleburgh, Charles Middleburgh Blog This excellent book has detailed, entertaining accounts of the 15 species of diurnal raptors (falcons, hawks, eagles) breeding in Great Britain. Embellishing the text are 93 superb drawings by wildlife artist Pearson. His artwork has a soft, pastel, chalk-like quality and consists only of shades of gray and white, yet is precise. Cobham draws on his vast experience studying raptors, captive breeding, conservation, and re-establishing rare species. He offers penetrating glimpses into the history of these fascinating birds, sometimes going back centuries, and the unusual people who are drawn to them. --Choice A very detailed and engrossing account of the health or otherwise of Britain's birds of prey. --Michael McCarthy, Independent [A] comprehensive and important historical record. --Sussex Wildlife Trust David Cobham has written a very understandable biology and history of birds of prey. It was a pleasure to read the words, but the content was, of necessity, sometimes disturbing. I would recommend this book to all who like birds, particularly raptors. British birders and those who visit (like me) will gain a lot of valuable information. It would make a great present to anyone studying hawks. --Roy John, Canadian Field Naturalist Engrossing and enjoyable to read. --David Lewis, Birds from Behind A book to be read right through or dipped into at leisure, A Sparrowhawk's Lament is a fitting tribute to our birds of prey and those who work to conserve them. Whether beginner or specialist, everyone will learn something about our formidable, yet vulnerable diurnal raptors. --Curious Naturalist Blog [T]he book pulls no punches and is one of the best books about birds of prey I have read. --RC, Highland News The book is an uplifting tale of wonderful birds, some great places and a lot of gifted raptor enthusiasts. --Mark Avery, Birdwatch Rich in cultural detail, descriptive illustrations, and personal recollections, A Sparrowhawk's Lament: How British Breeding Birds of Prey Are Faring paints a canvas demonstrating how cultural perceptions can be changed to improve conservation outcomes. --Gabriel Thoumi, Mongabay.com A thoughtful and deeply personal book by someone who has spent a lifetime indulging his keen interest in Britain's 15 breeding birds of prey. --Ian Carter, British Birds Each of these stories (and others) is addressed in detail, providing a comprehensive and important historical record. Indeed the book's major achievement is its thoroughness--Cobham has spared no pains in his travelling, in his research and in his collaborations. . . . This is a thorough and comprehensive account of Britain's birds of prey and our long and complex relationship with them. --Andy Stoddart, AndyStoddart.weebly.com From the beginning I was struck with the detail and sheer readability of the text and finished the first 40 pages of the Introduction, The Sparrowhawk and The Osprey without a break. . . . A Sparrowhawk's Lament is a desirable little volume which I thoroughly enjoyed, and one I can recommend to blog readers for the next rainy, non-birding day. --Phil Slade, Another Bird Blog Marvellous and touching. --Trevor Heaton, Eastern Daily Press (Weekend) Engaging reading. The book will remain a firm favourite with those, like me, for whom these are special birds. --Mike Toms, BBC Wildlife Magazine Engrossing, entertaining and covering a vast range of subjects, this is a highly recommended read. --Matt Merritt, Birdwatching Magazine One of The Independent's Best Nature Books of 2014

  • Short-listed for The Independent 's Best Nature Books 2014

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