Cover image for The American eagle : a photographic portrait
The American eagle : a photographic portrait
Pezzenti, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Viking Studio, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxxix, 135 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL696.F32 P485 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



John Pezzenti, whose Alaska brought us the tenderness and grandeur of America's last wilderness, obsessively seeks out the remotest corners with the most untouched wildlife--and then positions himself and waits patiently for the perfect image. Driven by a daring that defies solitude and danger and fired by a passion to immortalize what is threatened by civilization and technology, Pezzenti produces work of the highest craftsmanship and artistic purpose to be found in nature photography today.The images in The American Eagle capture the magnificent bald eagle as never before--in flight, in battle in the air, hunting, resting, nesting--from the murky Florida Everglades to the sub-zero temperatures of the Appalachian Mountains. They detail the complete lifespan of the bird that since the early days of America, has supremely embodied the bold spirit and soaring beauty of our country. With rare, unforgettable color photographs and a text that tells the struggle for survival of this once-endangered bird, The American Eagle is a gift to awe every nature lover, photographer, or patriot.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Dalton satisfies the human curiousity about flying; Pezzenti focuses on the eagle, a personification of majesty and power in flight. Many creatures fly, and though the physics controlling flight does not change, the methods used to work within these constraints vary across the animal kingdom. The explanation of the physics of flight is one of the strengths of Dalton's text. He explains airfoils, angles of attack, and vortices in a manner that will help even those phobic to science understand how flight defies gravity. Separate sections on insects (which don't need to be streamlined as few fly faster than 20 mph), birds (the undisputed masters of the air), and manned flight (how fixed wings and propellers replace flapping wings) refine our understanding of why flight works. One glaring omission is a discussion of bats--these flying mammals are very successful and do not fly like birds, despite the author's statement to that effect. Dalton's high-speed photographs of animals in flight, combined with color illustrations, beautifully illuminate the sometimes arcane discussions. Overall, this breathtakingly illustrated and well-written book is superb. Probably the best collection of photographs of the bald eagle ever produced, Pezzenti's stunning new work represents more than 20 years of work by the author/photographer. Our national symbol, devastated by DDT during the '50s and '60s, has made a comeback. The author's photos of all the life stages of eagles--from a chick pipping from an egg through all of the juvenile plumage stages to the final pure white head and tail of adulthood--are one of the strengths of the book. The rigors of the newly independent juveniles' lives are very well portrayed as these inexperienced birds try to fight their way into the hierarchy of adults. A large proportion of the photos were taken in Alaska, the major stronghold of the bald eagle, and it is hard to beat a picture of scores of eagles resting on shore, conserving their energy between winter fishing bouts. The author describes his sometimes harrowing adventures as he traveled to get the photos, and the captions reveal both the author's love for his subjects and his overall knowledge of eagle biology. A must for all libraries in areas graced with resident bald eagles and for libraries with large natural-history collections. --Nancy Bent

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.