Aloof and powerful, the once endangered bald eagle is slowly making a comeback, ecologically speaking, throughout much of North America, to which it is unique. For the last two decades wildlife photographer John Pezzenti has been recording this reversal of fortunes, traveling where the eagles do and bringing home images from his travels, some 150 of which are gathered in this volume. Many of Pezzenti's striking views come from the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, home to a huge concentration of bald eagles; some 20,000 nesting pairs are found in the region, nourished by silver salmon and other large fish. Pezzenti captures images of little-seen aspects of eagle behavior, including courtship flights that involve several males, who compete to mate with a female by exhibiting an "impressive display of calls and acrobatic maneuvers." He also provides the only photographic record yet published of eagles hatching in the wild, a sequence that alone is worth the price of the book. While noting that conditions are much improved, especially after the federal ban of the use of the pesticide DDT, Pezzenti observes that bald eagles are not yet wholly safe from harm; a thriving black market for flight feathers exists, in which a single white tail plume can bring a thousand dollars. For admirers of this spectacular raptor, Pezzenti's book is required reading. --Gregory McNamee
From Library Journal
Professional photographer Pezzenti here dramatically displays our national bird in settings from Alaska to Florida. The Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and the listing of the bird as endangered in 1973 reflected the serious decline in populations. In recent years, however, its numbers have increased, and the bald eagle can now be seen in nearly every state and is expected to be "delisted" in 2000. Several books have appeared recently on the bald eagle, but none contain finer quality photography and portraiture of all phases of the bird's life cycle than this coffee-table work. The introduction recounts the story of the bald eagle's population recovery and the author's years of hard work and adventure attempting to document the many faces, moods, and trials of the birds. Highly recommended.-Tim McKimmie, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces
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