The Hawk’s Way Reviews

By Sy Montgomery
Atria Books (May 3, 2022), 9781668001967

Watch Sy flying a hawk here.

The book breathes with glorious prose and challenging insights into a very strange world. In The Hawk’s Way, Sy Montgomery and her publisher have crafted a sharp little gem of a book, something fit to stand with classics like T.H. White’s The Goshawk or Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk. The next time any reader catches a glimpse of a hawk soaring over a field or highway, they’ll think of this little book and feel an extra shiver of wonder.” —Christian Science Monitor

With flowing, intimate, occasionally humorous prose… Montgomery reveals the uniqueness of falconry and the birds it involves. The result is a heartfelt and informative primer, just right for adventure- and animal-loving readers. —Publishers Weekly

Montgomery hooks readers with a striking opening line… Montgomery offers a good amount of stimulating information about raptor behavior, a primer on the language of falconry, and some surprising insights into what is thought to be a hawk’s mindset.—Kirkus Reviews

In the radiant The Hawk’s Way … Montgomery delivers a snappy survey of the history of falconry, with its specific equipment and terminology…. She passionately conveys the thrill of connection with ‘a mind wholly unlike my own…. Collapsing the distance between birds and people, this concise and charming book feels custom-made for readers of Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk. Shelf Awareness, starred review

Just about the only thing more marvelous than spending time in the great outdoors is reading Sy Montgomery’s writing about the natural world. … The Hawk’s Way is a perfect gift for the nature lovers in your life, and it’s the ideal size to tuck in your backpack the next time you head out for a hike into the majesty and mystery of nature.
— Book Reporter

If you’re a bird-lover — or otherwise revel in nature — you’ll appreciate Montgomery’s latest, which clocks in at just under 100 pages. In The Hawk’s Way, she recalls getting to know a 4-year-old raptor named Jazz, which led her on a journey to understand the animals. It’s an informative read that will make you want to go outside and look up into the sky.
— The Washington Post: 13 Feel-Good Books to Brighten Your Summer

Montgomery famously loves all animals, but she is especially in awe of birds.  Like The
Hummingbird’s Gift (2021), this is a succinct, intimate, and captivating chronicle graced with color photographs, but here she focus on a very different bird-human relationship, the ancient bond between hawk and falconer. Raptors remain inexorably wild, Montgomery reports, no matter how close a hawk and handler become. “If you do everything right, a hawk will allow you to act as its servant. And for this, the falconer is profoundly grateful.” Hawks are vigilant, easily angered, and dangerous. They are also, Montgomery rhapsodizes: “Magnificent, graceful, strong, big, brave, and smart.” Montgomery recounts her lessons with falconer Nancy Cowan, describing gear, techniques, and the experience of having a hawk fly straight at you, land on your arm, and grip you hard with its sharp talons, its lacerating beak inches from one’s face. Hawks have the sharpest vision on the planet; “the tigers of the air, they hunt like no other predator.” Montgomery’s rapture in the presence of hawks and their “fierce, wild glory” is gorgeously illuminating and deeply affecting.
— Donna Seaman, Booklist

The world is filled with delightful and amazing creatures, and it is always worth our time to indulge in a deep dive into one specific animal and its relationship to both nature and humanity. Montgomery is a naturalist with a deep passion for hawks, and this captivating read is an ode to the complexities, mysteries, and joys of these fierce, capable predators. With incredible enthusiasm and energetic prose, Montgomery reveals what it’s like to be a hunting partner with a hawk and educates on all things hawk, a bird with a clear relationship to its dinosaur ancestors.  –BookBub, The Best Nonfiction Books of Spring

Delightful reading for those who can put the binoculars down for an evening or two.
10,000 Birds (

Birders – especially those who enjoy watching raptors – and anyone who addictively scans the trees on long walks or drives absolutely needs to have “The Hawk’s Way.” Feathered-friend lover that you are, you’ll be enraptured by this book on the Sport of Kings.
Commericial-News, Danville, Ill.