Southwest •  Science and Nature

$24.95 hardcover

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Raptors of New Mexico

Edited by Jean-Luc E. Cartron

No book has ever before specifically focused on the birds of prey of New Mexico. Both Florence Bailey (1928) and J. Stokley Ligon (1961) published volumes on the birds of New Mexico, but their coverage of raptors was somewhat limited. In the ensuing years a great deal of new information has been collected on these mighty hunters' distribution, ecology, and conservation, including in New Mexico.

The book begins with a history of the word "raptor." The order of Raptatores, or Raptores, was first used to classify birds of prey in the early nineteenth century, derived from the Latin word raptor, one who seizes by force. The text then includes the writings of thirty-seven contributing authors who relate their observations on these regal species.

For example, Joe Truett recounts the following in the chapter on the Swainson's Hawk:

"From spring to fall each year at the Jornada Caves in the Jornada del Muerto, Swainson's hawks assemble daily to catch bats. The bats exit the caves--actually lava tubes--near sundown. The hawks swoop in, snatch bats from the air, and eat them on the wing."

Originally from France, Jean-Luc Cartron has lived and worked on several continents, finding his passion in the wide-open spaces of New Mexico. He became fascinated by
the birds of prey and has studied their ecology and conservation for nearly twenty years.

Raptors of New Mexico will provide readers with a comprehensive treatment of all hawks, eagles, kites, vultures, falcons, and owls breeding or wintering in New Mexico, or simply migrating through the state. This landmark study is also beautifully illustrated with more than six hundred photographs, including the work of more than one hundred photographers, and more than twenty species distribution maps.

Winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award


Jean-Luc E. Cartron (M.D., 1991, University of Paris Val de Marne, France; and Ph.D., 1995, Biology, University of New Mexico) is a research assistant professor at UNM and the director of the Drylands Institute New Mexico office. He has written numerous articles on raptor ecology and is the editor of Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Conservation in Northern Mexico.


"...the book's glossary and captioned illustrations are helpful for the non-ornithologist, and the many maps will likely aid the traveling birder in search of new sightings. The book's major draw for those outside the scientific community, though, is the photographs, which are quite simply fantastic."



"Raptor aficionados from any state will enjoy this comprehensive treatment of the raptors that inhabit New Mexico."


Wildlife Activist

"Well composed and beautifully produced, this book is an ideal work of reference for any enthusiast who wants to know more about the raptors of New Mexico, and it has much to offer anyone trying to find any of those species out in the field."



"I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in New Mexican raptors, byt it is a must-have for the serious birder or scientist working with birds of prey in the Great Plains."


Great Plains Quarterly

"In addition to documenting scientific research about the anatomy and ecology of each species, Raptors of New Mexico also captures dynamic stories from the field....for bird-watchers and enthusiasts of raptors, it's a must-read."


New Mexico Magazine

"Highly recommended."


Choice Magazine

7.5 x 10 in. 728 pages 610 color plates, 26 maps, 25 charts