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The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

Field / Identification Guide
A revolutionary, comprehensive, and authoritative photographic guide to North American raptors

Series: Crossley ID Guide Volume: 2

By: Richard Crossley (Author), Jerry Liguori (Author), Brian L Sullivan (Author)

304 pages, 101 plates with colour photos; 34 colour distribution maps

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Apr 2013 | #203579 | ISBN-13: 9780691157405
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.95 $24/€22 approx

About this book

Part of the revolutionary Crossley ID Guide series, this is the first raptor guide with lifelike scenes composed from multiple photographs – scenes that allow you to identify raptors just as the experts do. Experienced birders use the most easily observed and consistent characteristics – size, shape, behaviour, probability, and general color patterns. The book's 101 scenes – including thirty-five double-page layouts – provide a complete picture of how these features are all related. Even the effects of lighting and other real-world conditions are illustrated and explained. Detailed and succinct accounts from two of North America's foremost raptor experts, Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan, stress the key identification features. This complete picture allows everyone from beginner to expert to understand and enjoy what he or she sees in the field. The mystique of bird identification is eliminated, allowing even novice birders to identify raptors quickly and simply.

Comprehensive and authoritative, The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors covers all thirty-four of North America's diurnal raptor species (all species except owls). Each species is featured in stunning color plates that show males and females, in a full spectrum of ages and color variants, depicted near and far, in flight and at rest, and from multiple angles, all caught in their typical habitats. There are also comparative, multispecies scenes and mystery photographs that allow readers to test their identification skills, along with answers and full explanations in the back of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. In addition, The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors features an introduction, and thirty-four color maps accompany the plates. Whether you are a novice or an expert, this one-of-a-kind guide will show you an entirely new way to look at these spectacular birds.

"[...] The Crossley guide to raptors is a fresh and welcome addition to the growing list of raptor guides. Its approach is totally new and definitely adds a new educational dimension to field guides generally. As the authors state, no book matches the reality, so hard work and many hours in the field are still needed before you reach the level of the pros. However, this book contains a great deal of food for thought, right from the important introductory pages, and can be warmly recommended to anyone with an interest in identification matters generally: to raptorphlles, including those outside of the Americas, I believe this book is a must."
- Dick Forsman, Birding World 26(8), September 2013

"[...] Apart from spending significant amounts of time alongside an experienced hawk watcher in the field, The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is the easiest and most fun way to learn raptors. I’d recommend it to any birder. [...]"
- Grant McCreary (23-06-2013), read the full review at The Birder's Library

"[...] While this guide is not the smallest in size, and probably best suited for use in the car or short hikes, I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn to identify raptor species for the first time or even more advanced birders wanting to hone their skills at identifying raptors from a diverse range of angles or distances."
- Kurt Burnham, Ibis (2014), 156, 478–489

"[...] In the 1950s it was Roger Tory Peterson who changed the way field-guide plates were presented and used arrows pointing towards each species’ main features. That general style of education has served us well for more than half a century. Although this photographic montage-style departs hugely from the path that Peterson guided us along, I suspect he would have approved of its ability to improve our identification skills."
– Keith Betton,, 07-12-2013


Preface 5-6
Introduction 7-9
Raptor Topography 10-11

Species Accounts Images, Accounts

Turkey Vulture 12, 175
    Black Vulture 16, 177
    Crested Caracara 22, 179
    California Condor 24, 180
    Bald Eagle 26, 183
    Golden Eagle 30, 186
    Osprey 36, 190
    Northern Harrier 40, 192
    Sharp-shinned Hawk 44, 195
    Cooper's Hawk 48, 197
    Northern Goshawk 54, 200
    Red-tailed Hawk 60, 203
    Swainson's Hawk 70, 209
    White-tailed Hawk 76, 212
    Ferruginous Hawk 78, 214
    Rough-legged Hawk 82, 217
    Red-shouldered Hawk 88, 220
    Broad-winged Hawk 92, 223
    Gray Hawk 98, 226
    Short-tailed Hawk 100, 228
    Harris's Hawk 102, 230
    Common Black-Hawk 104, 232
    Zone-tailed Hawk 106, 234
    Snail Kite 110, 236
    Hook-billed Kite 114, 238
    Swallow-tailed Kite 116, 240
    Mississippi Kite 118, 242
    White-tailed Kite 122, 243
    American Kestrel 128, 245
    Merlin 132, 248
    Peregrine Falcon 136, 251
    Prairie Falcon 140, 254
    Gyrfalcon 144, 256
    Aplomado Falcon 146, 259

Mystery Photo Images 18-21, 34-35, 42-43, 46-47, 50-53, 56-59, 66-69, 74-75, 80-81, 86-87, 94-97, 108-9, 124-27, 142-43, 147-71
Mystery Photo Answers 261-283
Glossary 284
Acknowledgments 285
Index 286

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Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder and photographer and the award-winning author of The Crossley ID Guide series (Princeton/Crossley Books), which has been recognized for its pioneering approach to bird identification. He is also a coauthor of The Shorebird Guide and the cofounder of the Pledge to Fledge global birding initiative, and he is working on multiple birding projects involving mixed media and new technologies such as birdcams.

Jerry Liguori is the author of Hawks from Every Angle and Hawks at a Distance (both Princeton). He has been studying raptors throughout North America for more than twenty-five years and has conducted hawk counts at numerous spring and fall migration sites.

Brian Sullivan is the coauthor of the forthcoming Princeton Guide to North American Birds. He is eBird project leader and photographic editor of the Birds of North America Online at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as well as photographic editor for the American Birding Association's journal, North American Birds.

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