Friday, December 10, 2010

World Working Group on Birds of Prey Digitizes Its Raptor Publications

Robin Chancellor, the Hon. Secretary Secretary and Treasurer of the World Working Group on Birds of Prey and Owls (WWGBP) for decades passed away on October 27, 2010. He was a leading figure in the publication of several huge Proceedings of WWGBP conferences and workshops since 1975. In his honor, the WWGBP has begun to digitize those proceedings for free distribution in PDF form. The first two volumes are now available at

Only a few of the papers are specifically on North American raptors, but a number of papers may be of interest to hawk watchers with a broad interest in raptors. Each paper can be downloaded separately.

WWGBP: Berlin, London & Paris
ISBN 0254-6388, 302 pp.

A collection of twenty-eight new and original studies by 41 authors from 20 countries world-wide on birds of prey and owls covering a wide range of topics concerning the biology, ecology, status and conservation of these birds. Contributions include: Trends, Status and management of the White-tailed Sea Eagle, Distribution and Status of the Cinereous Vulture, Evaluation of some Breeding Parameters in a population of Eagle Owls, Status and Biology of the Bearded Vulture, Replacement of Mates in a Persecuted Population of Goshawks, Status and Distribution of Diurnal Raptors in Japan, the Migration of Birds of Prey and Storks in the Straits of Messina. This volume comprises 302 pages (size 14.5 x 21 cm, with cover in colour, many black&white photographs, stitched).

WWGBP: Berlin, London & Paris
ISBN 3-9801961-1-9, 549 pp.

This latest Meyburg and Chancellor production for World Working Group on Birds of Prey (WWGBP) is a substantial volume incorporating over 60 papers and running to 550 pages. It is the product of three separate workshops or colloquia covering a range of eagle species and held during 1991-1993. There is a heavy emphasis on the White-tailed Sea Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla and on various of the Aquila eagles. The great majority of the papers have a European focus, most are in English, but around a quarter are in German.

The papers are inevitably of variable quality, but taken together, they provide a valuable compilation of material that will be of interest to eagle enthusiasts generally. The subject emphasis tends to be on status, conservation issues in various countries and various management techniques and actions. There are individual papers on subjects as diverse as molecular phylogeny of European Aquila eagles, satellite tracking of long-range migrant eagles and effects of precipitation on breeding success of Golden Eagles Aquila chrysaetos in Israel.

Particularly welcome are the numerous contributions from eastern European countries where there is clearly an important emerging interest in the large eagles, notably the various sympatric Aquila species of that region. The several short papers on the poorly known Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga and Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca heliaca offer potentially new material for most readers.

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