Raptor by James Macdonald Lockhart
A Journey Through Birds

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...Lockhart elegantly depicts these creatures of the sky and, in so doing, celebrates the natural richness of the country over which they fly.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

From the merlin to the golden eagle, the goshawk to the honey buzzard, James Macdonald Lockhart’s stunning debut is a quest of beak, talon, wing, and sky. On its surface, Raptor is a journey across the British Isles in search of fifteen species of birds of prey, but as Lockhart seeks out these elusive predators, his quest becomes so much more: an incomparably elegant elegy on the beauty of the British landscape and, through the birds, a journey toward understanding an awesome power at the heart of the natural world—a power that is majestic and frightening in its strength, but also fragile.



Taking as his guide the nineteenth-century Scottish naturalist and artist William MacGillivray, Lockhart loosely follows the historical trail forged by MacGillivray as he ventured from Aberdeen to London filling his pockets with plants and writing and illustrating the canonical A History of British Birds. Linking his journey to that of his muse, Lockhart shares his own encounters with raptors ranging from the scarce osprey to the successfully reintroduced red kite, a species once protected by medieval royal statute, revealing with poetic immediacy the extraordinary behaviors of these birds and the extreme environments they call home.



Creatures both worshipped and reviled, raptors have a talon-hold on the human heart and imagination. With his book, Lockhart unravels these complicated ties in a work by turns reverent and euphoric—an interweaving of history, travel, and nature writing at its best. A hymn to wanderers, to the land and to the sky, and especially to the birds, Raptor soars.
 

About James Macdonald Lockhart

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Published April 7, 2017 by University of Chicago Press. 385 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Raptor
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 02 2017

This illuminating book serves as homage to a brilliant naturalist and extraordinary birds. If you loved H Is for Hawk, put this next on your reading list.

Read Full Review of Raptor: A Journey Through Birds | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Cocker on Feb 21 2016

That he does not engage with all this “stuff’’ means that his book, though it certainly contains beautiful writing and great promise, is a task only half completed.

Read Full Review of Raptor: A Journey Through Birds | See more reviews from Guardian

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Anna Godfrey on Feb 26 2016

...Lockhart elegantly depicts these creatures of the sky and, in so doing, celebrates the natural richness of the country over which they fly.

Read Full Review of Raptor: A Journey Through Birds | See more reviews from Financial Times

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