The last three decades have seen an enormous growth in our knowledge and understanding of raptor migration. This stems partly from more frequent and systematised counts made at regular watch sites, and partly from the increased use of tracking of individuals on their journeys using satellite-tags. Almost all raptor species of the Western Palearctic have now been tagged and followed with day-to-day precision on migration. This has given abundant data on the timing, routes and speeds of migration in different species, and on their various stopping and wintering places, in some species extending their previously known wintering range. The main aim of this book is to pull together all of this new information, and researchers involved in the studies of different species have combined their efforts to produce the different chapters. The three editors have all been directly involved in this work, and are well known for their contributions to raptor biology.
After an introductory chapter providing background information on the ecology of bird migration, the remaining 32 chapters are devoted to the different raptor species, each of which receives 4–13 pages, depending on the information available, complete with maps to show migration routes and sections headed Introduction, Knowledge Status, Post-breeding Migration, Pre-breeding Migration and Behavioural and Ecological Remarks.
In my view, the editors and authors have done an excellent job in pulling together all this new information and presenting it in a readable and consistent manner. The data are well presented and enlivened with maps and diagrams. The book will be of value not only to biologists researching bird migration, but also to the many raptor watchers who visit the famous watch sites to observe these birds as they pass on their journeys. The only complaint I have concerns the price – £200 for the hardback version, and a slightly more-affordable £76.99 and £69.29 for the softback and e-book versions respectively.