CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Jon Gerrard and Gary Bortolotti.
Saskatoon, SK: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1988.
178pp., paper, $18.95.
ISBN 0-88833-264-5. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Bald eagle.

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Peter Croskery.

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

The Bald Eagle: Haunts and Habits of a Wilderness Monarch has been concurrently released in Canada by Western Producer Prairie Books and in the United States by the Smithsonian Institution Press. It is one volume in the Smithsonian Press's "Nature" series, each volume of which examines the natural history of a wildlife species in an easy-to-read format.

Each chapter deals with an aspect of the bald eagle's life history. Chapters begin with an anecdotal report by one of the book's two authors relating an experience they have had with eagles. The chapter then continues with specific information on eagles. Although the book is thorough in its examination of eagle biology, it tends to be strongest in its treatment of eagle summer range biology with less attention given to the biology of eagles in winter.

Although the authors have conducted most of their bald eagle research in northern Saskatchewan, they have a very thorough knowledge of the species' biology over its entire range. They relate their findings to similar work conducted elsewhere in North America. By doing so they are able to demonstrate differences between eagles found in Florida, Alaska, Maine, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. For example, although the species is found throughout North America, it varies in size, nesting biology, food preferences and migratory behaviour depending upon its geographic location.

Scattered throughout the book are references to the impact humans have had on bald eagle populations. DDT, nest site disturbance, and bounty hunting are but a few of the problems bald eagles have had to endure. The authors report that although populations are not quite what they were, they are healthy over most of their North American range.

For those persons who wish an up-to-date and accurate general review of bald eagle biology, this book is recommended.

Peter Croskery, Kenora. ON.
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