A decade ago, photographer Jerry Barrack and I created “Survival: The Red-shouldered Hawks of Allendale, N.J.," the story of a family of endangered hawks who have nested here and nearby Ramsey.
"Survival" is a 70-page, full-color eBook about a family of hawks who have battled long odds to nest in Allendale for more than a decade. It is available as a free pdf download that you can view on tablets and laptops.
It features a foreword by the late Raptor Trust Executive Director Len Soucy. It was written by Jim Wright, author of the coffee-table books “Hawk Mountain” and “Jungle of the Maya.”
The eBook also features a locator map with the hawk’s nesting sites from 2002 to 2011, an interview with Celery Farm Warden Emeritus Stiles Thomas, who has followed the hawks’ triumphs and tragedies for the past decade, and some nifty surprises.
Additional chapters were written by John Workman (on the Red-shoulders' courting display) and Ken Wiegand (on what it's like to host a Red-shoulder nest). It also have great photos by Kevin Watson, Kumar Patel, Barbara Dilger, Bob and Lisa Safier, and Wiegand.
The Raptor Trust, one of the preeminent avian rehabilitation centers in the United States, saved the life of a Red-shouldered hawk named Laura, who had been found dazed on an Allendale lawn in 2008 -- at the time just the latest in a series of tragedies befalling the species in Allendale.
This species, named for the reddish feathers on the front of its shoulders, was described more than a century ago as the most common hawk in America. Since then, in a long slow spiral, the hawk has fallen on hard times in many states, including New Jersey.
New Jersey’s Endangered and Non-game Species Program has designated the Red-shoulder an endangered species when nesting and a threatened species other times of year. Both designations indicate the species is in trouble.
The book also includes a chapter on the Red-shoulders’ courtship flight, a first-person account of what it’s like to host a Red-shoulder nest, and a reprinted chapter on Red-shoulders from the classic 1898 book “Birds that Hunt and Birds that Are Hunted.”
You can download the book here: