The Hawk’s Way: Encounters with Fierce Beauty

S. & S. Audio. May 2022. 1:58 hrs. ISBN 9781797141442. $11.95. NAT HIST
Naturalist and author of 31 books for adults and children, including the National Book Award finalist Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery’s adoration of and respect for hawks is exuberantly communicated throughout this mix of natural history and memoir. Montgomery tells how her first encounter with a Harris hawk named Jazz fueled a years-long fascination with these remarkable creatures. She spends years learning with trainer Nancy Cowan, and is fiercely passionate as she describes falconry, past and present, and discusses the emotional and physical lives of hawks. She has no sentimental illusions about the birds’ inner lives and emphasizes, despite her deep enjoyment in pursuit of falconry, that the raptors simply do not like humans.
VERDICT Though listeners must rely on a supplemental pdf to view photographs of Montgomery’s training and close-ups of the hawks, the author’s irrepressible enthusiasm, vivid oral storytelling, and a brief clip of hawk sounds make this short listen, that grips and soars, an essential purchase.
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