Cover image for Ospreys : a natural and unnatural history
Ospreys : a natural and unnatural history
Poole, Alan Forsyth.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xviii, 246 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL696.F36 P66 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The osprey is a major symbol of international bird conservation, with its populations once threatened but now restored in New England and Scotland. Poole takes an up-to-date look at the natural history and status of this popular bird. The text is augmented with photographs and with line drawings by the noted bird artist Margaret LaFarge. The foreword is by Roger Tory Peterson. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is the first full monographic life history of the osprey, and it is an excellent one. These large, spectacular fish-catching hawks have one of the widest distributions of any bird. They readily adapt as nest structures such artificial sites as navigational markers, phone poles, duck blinds, and even house tops. They do not adapt to pesticides. In light of their close association to humans Poole's subtitle is especially apt. This world survey gives full attention to the species' biology. Among topics covered are phylogeny, status/distribution, migration/wintering ecology, foraging ecology, breeding behavior, and the ups and downs of populations in two areas selected as case histories: Scotland and New England. There are ten technical appendixes, one of which tells how to build nesting platforms, which these birds frequently will occupy. Ospreys is well referenced and contains more than 110 photographs, maps, drawings (by Margaret LaFarge), and tables. Poole is a respected naturalist, and most of his extensive field work has been in New England, a crucible for osprey population decline due to pesticides. His fine, well-written book is a mine of information on almost all aspects of osprey life; it is destined to be a popular book on a popular bird. Highly recommended for a wide-ranging audience. -H. T. Armistead, Thomas Jefferson University