360 pages, 85 plates with colour illustrations; colour photos, 58 colour distribution maps
Birds of Prey of the West and its companion volume, Birds of Prey of the East, are the most comprehensive and authoritative field guides to North American birds of prey ever published. Written and lavishly illustrated with stunning, life-like paintings by leading field-guide illustrator, photographer, and author Brian Wheeler, Birds of Prey of the West depict an enormous range of variations of age, sex, colour, and plumage, and feature a significant amount of plumage data that has never been published before.
The painted figures illustrate plumage and species comparisons in a classic field-guide layout. Each species is shown in the same posture and from the same viewpoint, which further assists comparisons. Facing-page text includes quick-reference identification points and brief natural history accounts that incorporate the latest information. The range maps are exceptionally accurate and much larger than those in other guides. They plot the most up-to-date distribution information for each species and include the location of cities for more accurate reference. Finally, Birds of Prey of the West features colour habitat photographs next to the maps. The result sets a new standard for guides to North America's birds of prey.
"Brian Wheeler's new field guides are must-haves for every bird-of-prey aficionado, hawk watcher, raptor biologist, or field naturalist. The wonderfully detailed plates and text synthesize the latest knowledge on plumages for each species, including information on aging, and mark a new frontier in raptor identification books."
– Laurie J. Goodrich, Hawk Mountain Reservation, Pennsylvania
"North American raptors, even the common ones, can be incredibly variable in appearance and a challenge to identify for many birders. In his new guides, Brian Wheeler celebrates this diversity and skillfully guides observers through steps to distinguish what they are seeing. Bravo for his approach and industry, which will assist us all in appreciating the raptors of our world!"
– Gordon Court, wildlife biologist
"The spectacular color illustrations and detailed text should make Birds of Prey of the East and Birds of Prey of the West welcome additions to the library of any serious aficionado of diurnal birds of prey – or to anyone who has ever looked skyward and marveled at the grandeur of a soaring raptor."
– Wayne R. Petersen, Mass Audubon
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Brian K. Wheeler has been studying, painting, and photographing birds of prey throughout the United States and Canada for more than fifty years. He is the illustrator of Hawks of North America (Peterson Field Guides), the coauthor and photographer of A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors (Princeton), and the author and photographer of Raptors of Eastern North America and Raptors of Western North America (Princeton). His photographs have appeared in many other books and in many bird magazines. He lives in Firestone, Colorado.