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Raptors of Western North America: The Wheeler Guide

Field / Identification GuideCancelled

By: Brian K Wheeler

560 pages, 622 col plates

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Sep 2007 | #168976 | ISBN-13: 9780691134772
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 2003 | #143490 | ISBN: 0691115990
Out of Print Details

About this book

Helps birders and biologists navigate the pitfalls of raptor identification, including raptors' often extreme variation by age and sex as well as the existence of numerous "confusion" species. This work discusses plumage variations and covers various aspects of raptor biology. It also provides information available on status and distribution.

"[...] These are the most impressive maps I’ve seen in a guide. They are large (up to a full page) and incredibly detailed. Not only do they show state boundaries, but also some cities, and where appropriate they even show county lines. Additionally, there are some subspecies/morphs found in one guide but not in the other. For instance, the “Florida” Red-shouldered Hawk is included in the eastern guide, but not the “California” Red-shouldered, and vice versa. Aside from these differences, the pictures are the same in both guides.

The photos include perched and in-flight shots of almost every combination of age class, morph, and subspecies.

These are the best North American raptor ID guides that I have seen thus far."

- Grant McCreary (09-12-2006), read the full review at The Birder's Library

"These two books are major contributions to the literature of North American vultures and Falconiform raptors [...] [B]oth Wheeler books should be owned by every hawk watcher and raptor biologist."
- Donald S. Heintzelman, International Hawkwatcher

"A highly significant contribution to the field. Wheeler has accomplished what no other guide has done for any group of birds by Sutton [These are] publications that go beyond the coverage of other field guides [...] [A]n important addition to your library."
- Dowdell, New Jersey Audubon

"This book is both a tour de force and a labor of love, and the immediate new standard for diurnal raptors in western North America."
- C. Stuart Houston, The Canadian Field Naturalist

"The new Wheeler guides are, by far, the best guides for field identification and general reference for North American raptors that I have seen. The photos are both plentiful and stunning [...] The new Wheeler guides, like the birds they elucidate and display, are gems for us all. They are well worth having."
- Donald Sweig, Audubon Naturalist News

"I highly recommend these two superb references for the serious hawkwatcher."
- Ron Pittaway, Ontario Birds

"This astoundingly detailed guide makes it possible to recognize age classes, molting patterns, subspecies and sexes of most birds of prey. Visual aids make these soaring creatures identifiable even to the birder-challenged. The guide would be considered a bit excessive except that the hundreds of stunningly crisp photos document these species like no other guide (there are 82 photos solely of red-tailed hawks!)"
- David Lukas, Los Angeles Times


Forward by (i>Clayton M. White ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xiii Abbreviations xv Chapter I Introduction 1 Key to Maps 9 Chapter II Genral Glossary 10 Chapter III Anatomy and Feather Glossary 15 Chapter IV Plumage, Molt, and Age Glossary 20 Chapter V Flying and Perching Displays Glossary 24 Chapter VI Perching and Flying Attitudes 28 Chapter VII Photography 33 "Raptor Music" a poem by Steve Millard 35 SPECIES ACCOUNTS Black Vulture 39 Turkey Vulture 46 California Condor 57 Osprey 68 Hook-billed Kite 77 Swallow-tailed Kite 86 White-tailed Kite 93 Mississippi Kite 102 Bald Eagle 120 Northern Harrier 147 Sharp-shinned Hawk 160 Cooper's Hawk 179 Northern Goshawk 191 Common Black-Hawk 210 Harris's Hawk 217 Gray Hawk 224 Red-shouldered Hawk 231 Broad-winged Hawk 245 Short-tailed Hawk 259 Swainson's Hawk 268 White-tailed Hawk 295 Zone-tailed Hawk 308 Red-tailed Hawk 318 Ferruginous Hawk 367 Rough-legged Hawk 367 Golden Eagle 408 Crested Eagle 422 American Kestrel 428 Merlin 437 Aplomado Falcon 456 Peregrine Falcon 465 Gyrfalcon 501 Prairie Falcon 516 Bibliography 527 Index 543

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Brian K. Wheeler is illustrator, a coauthor, and a photographer of "Hawks of North America" and a coauthor and a photographer of "A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors" (available from Princeton).

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