Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds

Paperback - August 2017 - AU $49.95

eBook - August 2017 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

An illustrated record of sea-eagles, harpy eagles, booted eagles and eagle-like hawks in Australasia.

Eagles are awe-inspiring birds that have influenced much human endeavour. Australia is home to three eagle species, and in Melanesia there are four additional endemic species. A further three large Australian hawks are eagle-like. Eagles, being at the top of the food chain, are sensitive ecological barometers of human impact on the Earth’s ecosystem services, and all of the six Australian species covered in this book are threatened in at least some states (one also nationally). Three of the four Melanesian tropical forest endemics are threatened or near-threatened. + Full description

In Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds, Dr Stephen Debus provides a 25-year update of knowledge on these 10 species as a supplement to the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB) and recent global treatises, based partly on his own field studies. Included are the first nest or prey records for some Melanesian species. This book places the Australasian species in their regional and global context, reviews their population status and threats, provides new information on their ecology, and suggests what needs to be done in order to ensure the future of these magnificent birds.

Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds is an invaluable resource for raptor biologists, birdwatchers, wildlife rescuers and carers, raptor rehabilitators and zookeepers.

- Short description


"Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds is a fascinating summary of our understanding of these charismatic species and collects the up-to-date publications describing their lives in one reference... It is a simultaneously highly readable, thoroughly enjoyable and authoritative monograph of some of the most captivating animals in Australasian skies. It’s the first such comprehensive book on these fauna since HANZAB in 1993 and features arresting colour photographs portraying some rarely seen behaviours. I commend it to every reader who is interested in furthering their understanding of our large birds of prey."
Chris Watson, The Grip (blog), 2/8/17

"reading this was a voyage of discovery and it is fair to say that I learned something new on practically every page. Indeed, in reading the species accounts many questions were raised in my mind and it is fair to say that every one of them was subsequently answered in this comprehensive text."
Norman McCanch, KOS News: The Newsletter of the Kent Ornithological Society #510, September 2017, pp.20-22

"This book is a very valuable resource for those who are interested in research or are keen observers of these raptors... as [a complementary resource] to HANZAB, this is a "must have" volume."
Gil Porter, Warbler 6(3), September 2017, pp.31-21


Paperback | August 2017 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9781486306923 | 192 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs

ePDF | August 2017
ISBN: 9781486306930
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | August 2017
ISBN: 9781486306947
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • First comprehensive monograph on Australasian raptors since the 1993 publication of HANZAB Volume 2
  • Up-to-date information on biology, ecology, conservation and management, from the latest scientific literature
  • Includes striking colour photos that highlight both typical characteristics and rarely seen behaviours



Part I – Sea-eagles
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Sanford’s Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi

Part II – Harpy eagles
New Guinea Harpy Eagle Harpyopsis novaeguineae

Part III – Booted eagles
Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
Gurney’s Eagle Aquila gurneyi
Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides
Pygmy Eagle Hieraaetus weiskei

Part IV – Australian eagle-like hawks
Black-breasted Buzzard Hamirostra melanosternon
Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura
Red Goshawk Erythrotriochis radiatus

Other sources of information
Appendix: Scientific names of other Australian raptors

View the full table of contents.


Stephen Debus has undertaken research on and written about raptors for nearly 35 years. He completed a PhD and postdoctoral research in Zoology, on declining woodland birds. He now works as an ecological consultant and is an honorary research associate at the University of New England. In 2015, he was awarded BirdLife Australia's D.L. Serventy Medal for ornithological publication, recognising his role as Australia's longest serving ornithological editor and contributions to the field, including over 130 papers, the Whitley Award-winning Birds of Prey of Australia: A Field Guide, 2nd edition (CSIRO Publishing 2012), and work on the raptor sections of the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Volume 2.