Until Ferguson-Lees published his Raptors of the World, this was the go-to reference. Any book on birds of prey with a decent bibliography has Brown and Amadon listed and is oft quoted in the same. I ordered it because I wanted to see this book. It lives up to its reputation with lengthy entries on each bird and large plates. The list of illustrators is long and includes Roger Tory Peterson.
There are newer works that are more up to date reflecting recent research and new discoveries but the observations reported in this work are still pertinent today.
There has been a trend away from the use of superlatives in describing the subjects; words like 'graceful', 'beautiful', 'masterful' and so on. It's words like these that make this book and other older works a pleasure to read. How can one convey the wonder the sight of a golden eagle or a peregrine's stoop elicits without such words? Brown and Amadon will remain a classic in the same class as Bent's Life Histories.
My copy is a weighty tome with the two volumes in one cover. I recommend getting the two volume edition because of the sheer size of the material. This book is so big at 900+ pages that I will be busy for a very long time reading it.
I went on the recommendations of the other reviewer, and he was spot on. The color plates in this book are phenomenal, and the wealth of information will keep me going for quite awhile. I definitely plan to use this book as my go-to, and plan on purchasing Brian K. Wheeler's book "A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors"' as well as Wayne Grady's "Vulture" since I am interested in the New World Vultures. It is definitely the way to go by purchasing both volumes under the same cover. This book is huge, in fact, big enough to anchor the Queen Mary, but do not let that or the price stop you. In addition to the raptors mentioned in the title, you also get the New and Old World Vultures as well, just no owls. This is money definitely well spent.
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