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Australian High Country Raptors

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Australian High Country Raptors

Jerry Olsen   Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra

Colour photographs, Photographs, Illustrations, Maps
336 pages, 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - 2014
ISBN: 9780643109162 - AU $ 69.95

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Australian High Country Raptors covers raptor species that regularly breed in the high country above 600 metres, from Goulburn in New South Wales down to the hills outside Melbourne, Victoria. Author Jerry Olsen explores the nature of these striking animals that are classified as Accipitriformes (diurnal hawks, falcons, kites and eagles), Falconiformes and Strigiformes (nocturnal owls). Comparisons between these high country raptors and lower-elevation breeders are also provided, in addition to comparisons with raptors found overseas, especially from North America and Europe.

The book begins with a description of habitats and vegetation types in the high country, and which raptors are likely to be seen in each habitat type. It continues with sections on finding and watching raptors, raptor identification, hunting styles, food, breeding and behaviour, and conservation. Appendices provide species accounts for diurnal breeding species in the high country, with basic information about their ecology, distribution and conservation, as well as detailed instructions about handling an injured or orphaned raptor.

Illustrated throughout with photographs and drawings, Australian High Country Raptors offers readers a chance to look into the lives of Australia’s fascinating birds of prey.


  • New information on behaviour, diet, breeding, biology that applies to raptors world-wide
  • Captivating drawings, graphs and photos

 Preface and acknowledgements
1. The high country
2. Comparing Australian raptors to their Northern Hemisphere counterparts
3. Raptor habitats in the high country
4. Basics of raptor identification
5. Watching raptors
6. Finding raptors
7. Designs for survival
8. Food and hunting
9. Eagles in the high country
10. Peregrines in the high country
11. Breeding and behaviour
12. Why are female raptors bigger than males?
13. Conserving high country raptors
14. Giving care

Appendix 1. Diurnals
Appendix 2. Sick and injured raptors
Scientific names of raptors mentioned in the text

View the full table of contents.


 General bird watchers and people interested in nature. 

 "a pleasure to read, full of information, and highly relevant to anyone living on the Monaro"
Nick Goldie, Cooma-Monaro Express, July 2014

"an interesting and informative book on our local birds of prey."
Robert Digan, Canberra Bird Notes, 39 (3) December 2014, p. 212

"Jerry is passionate about raptors and this book is enriched with anecdotes from his work and travels in Canada, Mexico, Chile, Spain, etc. and his academic upbringing in USA."
Richard H Lyon, Victorian Naturalist, December 2015, pp 182-183


 Jerry Olsen has studied birds of prey for 44 years, in the United States, Canada and Australia and, with other researchers, published some 150 papers and articles and five books on raptors. He is a member of the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra. In 2012 his book Australian High Country Owls received a Whitley Award commendation for vertebrate natural history. 

Related Titles
 Wildlife Conservation in Farm Landscapes    Circle   The East Asian–Australasian Flyway: Population Trends, Threats and the Future   An Atlas of the Birds of NSW and the ACT Volume 2    Australian Wildlife After Dark    Seabirds of the World    Double Helix Issue 04  


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