Raptor Research & Management Techniques
Raptor Research & Management Techniques
Raptor Research & Management Techniques
Raptor Research & Management Techniques
Raptor Research & Management Techniques

Raptor Research & Management Techniques

Regular price $29.95

By: Bird, David M., Bildstein, Keith L.
ISBN: 978-0-88839-639-6
Binding: Trade Paper
Size: 11" X 8.5"
Pages: 464
Photos: 66
Illustrations: 47
Publication Date: 2007

PR Highlights: SPECIAL new lower price! Was $70.00
PHOTO Highlights: Over 100 photos & technical drawings


Table of Contents

Sample Chapter

Description: Raptor Research and Management Techniques is the much anticipated and thoroughly updated version of the popular but long out of print Raptor Management Techniques Manual.

Author Biography:

DAVID M. BIRD is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on birds of prey and he is often consulted by governments, universities, funding bodies, corporations, and the general public for his expertise. David has served as President (and Vice-President twice) of the Raptor Research Foundation Inc. (RRF), participated on numerous committees and organized several RRF symposia, three of which had published proceedings. He was also one of the editors on the original 1987 edition of this book. After obtaining his M.Sc. in 1976 and being appointed as the curator of the Macdonald Raptor Research Centre, David quickly completed his Ph.D. in 1978. As Director of what is now called the Avian Science and Conservation Centre, David has published over 150 scientific papers on birds of prey, supervised 37 graduate students to completion, and is currently supervising nine. As a Full Professor of Wildlife Biology, he teaches several courses in ornithology, fish and wildlife management, scientific communication, and wildlife conservation. David has served as Vice-President of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists twice and is currently the President-Elect. He is an elected Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union and an elected member representing Canada on the prestigious International Ornithological Committee. Over the last 30 years, David has given countless talks all over North America and made innumerable radio and television appearances both in Montreal and across Canada. He has written and co-edited seven books, including City Critters: How to Live with Urban Wildlife, Bird’s Eye-View: A Practical Compendium for Bird-Lovers, and The Bird Almanac: The Ultimate Guide to Facts and Figures on the World’s Birds He is also a regular columnist on birds for The Gazette of Montreal and Bird Watcher’s Digest magazine. Throughout his career, David’s achievements have been recognized by various awards for wildlife conservation, the latest being the Quebec Education Award in 2007, the first ever given by Bird Protection Quebec.

KEITH L. BILDSTEIN is Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania, where he oversees the Sanctuary’s conservation science and education programs, and coordinates the activities of its graduate students, international interns, and visiting scientists Bildstein received his B.S. in Biology at Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1972, and his Masters and Ph. D. in Zoology from the Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio, in 1976 and 1978. He currently is Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Biology at the State University of New York-Syracuse. He was Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1978, and Distinguished Professor of Biology at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, from 1978 to 1992. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and has been President of the Wilson Ornithological Society and the Waterbird Society, and Vice-president of the Raptor Research Foundation. Bildstein edited the Wilson Bulletin, a quarterly journal of ornithology, from 1984 through 1987, and was a member of the editorial board of The Auk, the AOU’s journal, in 1997–2000. He has helped organize the scientific programs of seven national and seven international ornithological meetings. Bildstein has authored or coauthored more than 100 papers in ecology and conservation, including 40 on raptors. His books include White Ibis: wetland wanderer (1993), The raptor migration watch-site manual (1995 [with Jorje Zalles]), Raptor watch: a global directory of raptor migration sites (2000 [with Jorje Zalles]), and Migrating raptors of the world: their ecology and conservation  (2006). His co-edited works include Conservation Biology of Flamingos (2000), Hawkwatching in the Americas (2001), and Neotropical Raptors (2007). Keith’s current research involves the geography, ecology, and conservation of the world’s migratory raptors; energy management in migrating raptors; the feeding and movement ecology of New and Old World vultures; and the wintering, breeding, and movement ecology of American Kestrels.


Book Reviews:

Review by Robert E Hoopes
Wild Activist Magazine No. 61, pp 23
Spring 2008

This is the second edition of the Raptor Management Techniques Manual first published by the Raptor Research Foundation in 1987. Editors Bird and Bildstein have assembled works from numerous experts in their fields and grouped them into useful categories. Their intent is to provide a comprehensive reference on raptor research and management techniques leading to standardization in field techniques and better comparability of results. The thirty-one essays are grouped in twenty-five chapters. A general overview of raptor research is covered in the first four chapters, including raptor identification, literature, study design and systematics (taxonomy, classification and phylogenetics, or the study of evolutionary relationships). Then next ten chapters cover field techniques including surveying, migration counts, behavior, food, habitat, nest access, assessing nesting success, capture techniques, marking and tracking. The following section focuses on physical aspects of raptors covering energetics, physiology, reproduction, and pathology. The next five chapters cover our interface with raptors. Included are discussions on how we can reduce our disturbance of raptors in the course of data collection and research, how we can mitigate human activities that affect raptors, captive breeding techniques, augmenting wild populations and rehabilitation. The final two chapters cover public education and legal considerations. While strong on scientific method and referencing extensive citations, this manual is clearly written and easy to read. To this end it is a valuable resource for professionals in the raptor research field as well as citizen scientists who find great pleasure in both observing and collecting migration data at their local hawk watch sites.

The Falconer Journal
2008, pg 113
Review by Andrew Dobson ' Editor
University of Nottingham-School of Geography

As the title suggests, this book is a serious scientific text, not a falconry manual. I will not attempt to evaluate its utility to the field biologist, as this is not the place, but instead explain why I think may falconers would benefit from reading it. I'll make it clear now that I'm not one of those people who believe that scientists make the best falconers, or that a strictly scientific approach to training and conditioning is the only correct one-this is a wholly fallacious view, and I have no time for those who propound it. However, there is much to be gained from understanding the basics of raptor biology, and a grasp of the application of science to raptor conservation will lend any falconer a degree of gravitas when engaged in dialogue with conservation bodies, as many of us are. The captive breeding revolution has had the unhappy consequence of producing a generation of falconers who lack any real comprehension of their hawks' wild behaviour, and this is not acceptable in the modern day, when all eyes are on us and we must be able to justify our sport on every level. Few Falconers need to have a detailed knowledge of molecular genetics, but it would be extremely helpful if, for example, all falconers read Michael Wink's chapter in this book, and so gained a basic understanding of taxonomy and systematics. When we're discussing hybrids, DNA, subspecies, etc., do we really know what we're talking about? The 25 chapters are generally short, and most are accessible to the lay reader who has at least an elementary familiarity with scientific and/or ornithological terms; even Wink's rather technical chapter begins with introductions to most of the terms he discusses, so there is no need to shy away from what might first appear to be an impenetrable raft of jargon. There are even some familiar names here for the UK falconer-Robert Kenward and Sean Wall contribute a chapter on spatial tracking (telemetry and the like), Ian Newton, Neil Forbes and John Cooper provide input in their respective fields, and Jemima Parry-Jones and Mike Nicholls are the main authors on the subject of public education. For those falconers who are interested in what biologists get up to, I would particularly recommend the chapters on survey techniques and behavioural studies; both cover reasonably basic topics and give a clear guide to what can be achieved and how it should be done. The ideological separation between falconers and conservation biologists in the UK is unnecessary, and the ground could be made up most easily if each group could attempt to understand the perspective of the other. To this end, reading this book would be of great benefit to the falconer.

Review by:
John E Cooper
Professor of Veterinary Pathology
University of the West Indies

Hancock House is a Canadian/US printing house that is rapidly developing a reputation for producing high-quality books on birds of prey (raptors) the Order Falconiformes (hawks, falcons, eagles, vultures and their allies), and the Order Strigiformes (owls). Raptor Research and Management Techniques is the successor to, and essentially a second and thoroughly updated version of, Raptor Management Techniques Manual that was edited by David Bird and others in 1987 and which for two decades served as an authoritative guide for biologists and others who work with these species. This new book is advertised as being designed for use by raptor researchers, conservationists and natural resource managers. This designation of readership is absolutely correct, but to it should be added veterinarians who treat raptors or who are involved in research projects on these or other avian species. There are, in this context, chapters on physiology, pathology and toxicology as well as on more applied topics such as capture and handling of birds, making it of both theoretical and practical value to many veterinarians. Raptor Research and Management Techniques has an international orientation in its approach and authorship and, of particular relevance to this review, two of the contributors are currently based in the West Indies. To summarize, the book covers one major group of birds, the raptors. These species are at the top of the food chain and thereby serve as important environmental sentinels; they are therefore subject to intensive study and research in many parts of the world, including Central and South America. In the USA, Canada, Europe and some other countries the keeping of birds of prey in captivity - in particular, the care and rehabilitation of casualties - is popular and widespread. Modern veterinarians therefore need to have some knowledge of the natural history and care of these birds and where to go for further information. In comparing the book to Raptors in Captivity which is a very practically orientated work that concentrates primarily on the care and management of these birds. Raptor Research and Management Techniques should be considered the scientific thesis, with a strong emphasis on biology and avian science.

Review by Rob G. Bijlsma
ARDEA 96(1), pp 153, 154, 2008

In 1987, the Raptor Information Center of the National Wildlife Federation produced a large tome in binder format on raptor research techniques. A reprint followed in 1993. For a long time, this was the only handbook available to raptorphiles, and as such in great demand. Meanwhile, several more raptor manuals have been published, including one in Dutch (Bijlsma 1997) and one based on experiences of European raptorphiles (Hardey et al. 2006). Interestingly, each manual has its distinct characteristics, and despite some overlap in coverage of the subject much can be gleaned from any one that is not to be found in the others. Raptors are easily the best-serviced bird group regarding study techniques. Compared with the European manuals, Raptor Research is distinctly professional in outline and scope. In Europe, thousands of amateurs study raptors, often alongside scientists, as visible in the plethora of raptor groups, raptor journals and papers. The opening chapter of Raptor Research, relating to the raptor literature, is testimony to the fact that raptor research outside Europe is mostly the prerogative of professionals. This is presumably also why chapters on systematics, energetics, physiology, pathology, toxicology and captive breeding are included, usually realms avoided by amateurs and deserving of specialist knowledge, labs, permits and money. I applaud the inclusion, however, not least because it may open avenues into other parts of raptor life not usually covered by fieldwork. Similarly, much attention is heaped upon study design, data management, analysis, presentation and survey techniques, unfortunately not always bothered about too much by amateurs. Although ABCs for professionals, for others it may well serve as an eyeopener for planning and executing research. Interestingly, no species-specific details are given for studying raptors, a subject extensively touched upon in European manuals including detailed age and sex-specific growth parameters for nestlings. It merely shows that in the USA study design is more important than the species. Field-study techniques cover a substantial part of the book, and much here is also covered by the European manuals. Nevertheless, the emphasis on study design is strong throughout these chapters (notably habitat sampling and behavioural studies). Not particularly useful for the average Dutch raptorphile, but certainly so for those working in mountainous regions, is the description of climbing techniques for cliffs. Also, capture, marking and spatial tracking (including use of stable isotopes and trace elements) techniques are covered in much more detail than in the European manuals. This is partly because it involves the use of sophisticated and expensive equipment. I think these are techniques in need to be applied on a larger scale in Europe than so far practised, providing data on movements, habitat use and survival not possible to obtain otherwise. Surely, many of these techniques are now so well developed, with prices of equipment much reduced, that they are within the grasp of amateurs or groups of volunteers. Here they may find a good start from where to proceed. A particularly useful, and necessary, chapter describes the methods to reduce disturbance. It is indeed imperative to study the technical literature and consult specialists before embarking upon any study of raptors. For field-workers this is simply part of their basic training, and about which they are constantly reminded by fellow-raptorphiles. It therefore completely defies me why disturbance remains a never-ending dispute among nature managers (see for example, van den Boom & van Tooren 2008), or it must be ignorance. The last few chapters deal with mitigation (how to reduce losses from human activities), captive breeding (not something I want to promote anyway, but a big thing in the USA), how to augment wild populations and food resources, rehabilitation (a must for rehabilitation centres, but I am afraid few are willing to improve upon their own experience), public education (including raptor shows, not my cup of tea given the proliferation thereof in Europe, often exploited by ignoramuses), and legal considerations (which are likely to change the next time you take a breath). All in all I consider this volume compulsory reading for raptorphiles, but especially for those from Europe who have very different backgrounds as to the study of raptors. Much they can learn from raptor enthusiasts working on the other side of the pond.