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Hawk Ridge

Minnesota’s Birds of Prey

2012
Author:

Laura Erickson
Illustrations by Betsy Bowen

Hawk Ridge

A guide to understanding the eagles, hawks, and falcons of Minnesota, by two of the state’s most beloved authors

Written by one of Minnesota’s best-known bird authorities, with images by one of the state’s favorite illustrators, Hawk Ridge is both fun and informative. Filled with curious facts and practical information for experts and amateurs alike, it is at once a guide to the hawks of Minnesota and a beautifully illustrated album of the most regal members of the avian kingdom.

The book is delightful, informative and humorous.

The Park Bugle

Was Caesar like the eagle because of his aquiline (from aquila, “eagle” in Latin) nose, or does the eagle seem imperial because of his Caesar-like beak? Does the sharp vision of a “hawk-eyed” observer have any basis in nature? And what the heck is “kettling” to a bird-watcher—or, for that matter, a bird? Raptors have captured the imagination from time immemorial and have an especially rich history in Minnesota. The ancient peoples whose pictographs adorn the rock faces of Lake Superior’s North Shore may well have witnessed the first hawk movements along Lake Superior—the same annual migration that today draws as many as twenty thousand people to Duluth’s Hawk Ridge. These birds, passing through in astounding numbers, are among the hawks and accipiters, buteos and harriers, eagles and ospreys pictured and profiled in detail in this book.

Written by one of Minnesota’s best-known bird authorities, with images by one of the state’s favorite illustrators, Hawk Ridge is as fun as it is informative. It introduces the state’s raptors, from the rare visitor to the most familiar hawk, noting the signature traits of each species—osprey wings, for instance, are crooked to help them catch fish; vultures urinate on their legs to cool themselves—as well as their nesting, breeding, and migrating habits. Did you know that Sharp-shinned Hawks banded at Hawk Ridge have been found throughout Central America and even into South America, and also, in midwinter, in Wisconsin? Laura Erickson offers a broad perspective (a bird’s-eye view!), making sense of the raptor’s role in the larger ornithological scheme.

With descriptions of various species—and helpful distinctions between species, families, and orders—the book gives readers a clear idea of which raptors might be seen in Minnesota, when, where, and how often. It also includes a hawk migration primer that explains the movements that bring these birds in such awe-inspiring numbers to places like Hawk Ridge. Filled with curious facts and practical information for expert and amateur bird-watcher alike, Hawk Ridge is at once a guide to the hawks of Minnesota and a beautifully illustrated album of the most regal members of the avian kingdom.

Hawk Ridge

Laura Erickson has been writing and speaking about birds, and promoting their conservation, for thirty-five years. Her daily radio spot and iTunes podcast “For the Birds” airs nationally. She has written four previous books, including Twelve Owls (Minnesota, 2011) and Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids, which received the National Outdoor Book Award. She lives in Duluth.


Betsy Bowen is a renowned woodcut printmaker and painter. She has illustrated several books, among them Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman, Borealis, Wild Neighborhood, Big Belching Bog, and Twelve Owls, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. She lives in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Betsy Bowen is a woodcut printmaker and painter. She has illustrated several books, among them Twelve Owls, Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman and Big Belching Bog, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. She lives in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Hawk Ridge

The book is delightful, informative and humorous.

The Park Bugle

Did you know that a female Harrier will return a very young chick to the nest by carrying it carefully by the nape in her bill? You would if you had read this enjoyable book.

Chequamegon Chirps

For each species Erickson provides you with engaging and pertinent natural history as well as the important migration timing and count data from Hawk Ridge. These both help you understand the species at a deeper level, and allow you to maximize your chances of seeing one along the shore of Lake Superior. Erickson’s writing is clear and familiar and her facts are solid.

Woodcreeper.com

"Hawk Ridge" is neither a field guide (too big) nor a coffee-table book (too small), but an elegant and lovely introduction to eagles, hawks, vultures and other raptors.

Star Tribune

An elegant illustrated field book.

Winona Daily News

Laura is able to bring remarkable details about each species, including historical tidbits and environmental cautions. This would be a spectacular gift for any birder, of course, but it’s an equally great gift for any person who loves the region and loves nature.

Lake Superior Magazine

Hawk Ridge is perfect for anyone interested in birds and/or raptors—or just books about nature that happen to contain artwork to linger over.

Flyoverland

The text is well written and presents interesting information that one would not find in a field guide. Overall the book is attractive, has excellent text, and has colorful, artistic paintings.

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch Newsletter

Hawk Ridge

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Vultures
2. Osprey
3. Eagles
4. Harrier and Kite
5. Accipiters
6. Buteos
7. Falcons