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Hawks from Every Angle: How to Identify Raptors In Flight Paperback – October 2, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"Hawks from Every Angle is a major advance in our knowledge of identifying raptors in flight and as such needs to be in the library (and field pack) of every serious raptor biologist, hawk watcher, and birder going afield in North America."--Donald S. Heintzelman,International Hawkwatcher

"Perhaps no one knows the intricacies of raptor identification better than Jerry Liguori. . . . There is no doubt that this book will advance the identification of raptors, and that every hawkwatcher will want to own this great new book."--Dan R. Kunkle, Wildlife Activist

"This book does a splendid job of educating its readers as to the specific characteristics the experts use to make their identifications. . . . [T]he book's strength is its numerous crisp diagnostic photographs that, if diligently studied, should make readers competent to correctly identify virtually any hawk species. This book is a fine example of the sophistication of field identification in the study of birds."--Choice

"I was a bit skeptical about the value of a photo guide, but Liguori, a raptor conservation biologist and excellent photographer, sweeps any doubts away. The book's 371 images, nearly all in color, of hawks from the front, side, below, and above, provide a new perspective on the 19 most common North American species. Read this handy guide and you'll never again have to say, 'All I know is it was a buteo.' This book definitely lives up to its title."--Val Cunningham, Birding Business News

"Hawks from Every Angle takes advantage of recent developments in digital photography and computer enhancement to offer a fresh approach to identifying raptors--as the titles promises--from every angle: head on, above, below, sideways, and from the rear...The guide's succinct but flowing text includes introductory material on light conditions, molt aberrant plumages, migration sites, weather, optics for hawk watching, and photography...As good as the text is, the guide's 339 color photographs are even better. Showing the birds as they actually appear in the field, the photos are its hear and soul."--Keith L. Bildstein, Birder's World

From the Back Cover

"Jerry Liguori has spent most of the last twenty years in the field watching and photographing hawks, and thousands of hours poring over photos and research to piece the puzzle of identification together. The result . . . is this guide, which is the most detailed and confident explanation yet of the myriad clues that lead to successful identification of hawks. This book is the first of its kind that deals with the real-world problems of identifying flying raptors from different angles. . . . The understanding of what hawkwatchers actually face in the field comes through on every page."--David A. Sibley, author of the National Audubon Society's The Sibley Guide to Birds

"There is nobody in North America whose identification skills and knowledge base concerning the flight identification of birds of prey surpasses Jerry Liguori. If you want to know where the high water mark in raptor identification falls today, it is in your hands. If you aspire to pin names to birds that fly just this side of the limit of conjecture with a high degree of confidence, start reading."--Pete Dunne, Vice President of Natural History Information, New Jersey Audubon Society, coauthor of Hawks in Flight

"We have all been perplexed and downright dumbfounded trying to identify flying raptors when seen at odd, but regularly viewed angles! Such difficult angles often offer only glimpses of identification markings shown in typical raptor field guides and bird guides. This impressive book, with its superb collection of color and black and white photographs and concise and informative data, tackles raptor identification problems that hawkwatchers face under real field conditions. Jerry Liguori has created a book that can easily be toted in the field, and is an absolute must-have for any raptor enthusiast!"--Brian K. Wheeler, author of Raptors of Eastern/Western North America, illustrator and coauthor of A Field Guide to Hawks of North America

"Jerry Liguori has long been one of our best raptor experts, and this stunning book proves it yet again. Depicting hawks in the real world, in the hawkwatching arena-and not in an idealized situation that rarely occurs-is this book's forte. Comparisons, contrasts, key points, and even potential pitfalls are highlighted in the excellent photos-and set the book apart. There are a number of raptor guides available, but we finally have one that shows hawks as they are truly seen in the field."--Clay Sutton, coauthor of Hawks in Flight and How to Spot Hawks and Eagles

"Hawks from Every Angle takes in-flight identification further than any previous book. Being a seasoned hawkwatcher, I can attest to the accuracy and usefulness of the material presented. Until now, much of the information herein has resided only in the heads of very experienced hawkwatchers and some of it, in the heads of only one or two very experienced hawkwatchers. Well organized and well written."--Tony Leukering, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

"Hawks from Every Angle will be quite useful to those seeking a better understanding of the field identification of raptors rather than a feather-by-feather description of plumages. Ultimately, birders want to know which species they are seeing, and this book will guide them to the correct identification."--Brian L. Sullivan, Cornell Lab of Ornithology


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 129 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691118256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691118253
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By N. Anich on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the title indicates, this book focuses primarily on flight identification, and does a good job of showing and comparing raptors from multiple angles. So if you're looking to identify which hawk is perched in a tree in your yard, look elsewhere. But if you're interested in hawkwatching or honing your ability to identify distant raptors, this is a worthy pickup.

This book nicely fills a gap between the Wheeler Guides (which have very close detailed photogaphs) and Hawks in Flight (which has mostly illustrations focusing on shape). This book has photographs, but the emphasis is on shape and structure more than plumage. It's got some really helpful pages where they put similar birds together and the same size flying overhead, then all flying to the right, then all flying at you, then flying away so you can directly compare subtle differences. It's got some nice photoshopped stuff where they inserted another bird into a photo for comparison (e.g. a nice one of a Peregrine and a Gyr both flying together). There are also "pitfall" images where they show similar birds you could confuse given certain looks at them.

I haven't read all the text yet, but the stuff I've read seems spot-on. It's got some fun hawkwatch numbers, like record days and seasons and a map of hawkwatch sites. (Although some of the dots on the map seem to be off). Overall if you're interested in hawks enough to still be reading this review, you'll probably find this book to be cool.
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113 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Moulton on January 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a book that covers all the raptors that regularly occur in North America, forget it. A more honest title would've been 'Raptors of Northeastern Hawkwatch Sites.' Even then, northeastern hawkwatchers won't find Harris' Hawk in the book. The raptors Liguori does cover are done well, by and large, and I was particularly impressed with the treatments of both Harlan's Hawk and the Northern Harrier. But if you live in the West, as I do, you'll find the book less useful than the title suggests. Get yourself a Clark and Wheeler--it'll serve you much better. I'm looking forward to that frabjous day when hawkwatchers will escape their eastern bias, and discover that we have hawks in the West too.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A. E. Wright on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the continent's most expert hawkwatchers, Jerry Liguori here presents a set of very helpful notes intended to make the identification of distant raptors easier. The many carefully chosen photographs show the birds at literally "every angle," showing the reader birds head-on, wing-on, and in retreat, just as they often appear to the observer. Many of the images are carefully manipulated to elide obvious differences of size and color, making it possible to concentrate on more subtle distinctions of shape and habit in otherwise similar species; one could watch hawks for decades without witnessing the extremely informative juxtapositions effected here by the printer, and hawkwatchers new and experienced will find much to profit by in the book's plates.

The text, while it contains many nuggets of little-known information, is another matter. It reads very much like hastily scribbled notes, and the often meandering stream of the author's consciousness would have benefited from a careful editor's guidance (and a proofreader would have been helpful, too). Most experienced birders will be able to strain through the information to find what is valuable to them, but neophytes are likely to find navigating these waters occasionally troublesome, a difficulty not much eased by the glossary, which, for example, uses the word "base" in at least four different senses.

All in all, though, this is a book highly recommended to the hawkwatcher with some experience--or the hawkwatcher with a patient mentor or friend to help understand it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. Freeman on April 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
A super-useful reference guide that goes well with HAWKS IN FLIGHT -- and actually I would probably look at this one first. Photographs and text both contain a lot of helpful information to assist in raptor identification -- though the "pitfalls" shots make it clear that not every bird will be identifiable.

Mileage obviously varies, but as a Californian I don't feel shortchanged by this book and have used it particularly for Sharpie/Cooper's differentiation.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a bird guy. I absolutely love birds, and the birds I love more than any others are hawks. When I die, I want to come back as a hawk.

The problem (if it is a problem) is that I'm no naturalist. I seem constitutionally incapable of identifying most birds. Get me past the typical visitors to my backyard feeders--the junkos, sparrows, wrens, cardinals, goldfinches, thrushes, humming birds, and occasional woodpecker--and I'm pretty lost.

But because I so love hawks, and because they've recently reappeared in great numbers in my neck of the woods (central PA), I thought I'd give Liguori's book a try.

I'm glad I did. The photographs are stunning--beautiful enough to please the eye, but at the same time crisp and detailed enough to serve as a guide for hawk-spotting. I found especially helpful Liguori's shots of hawks at different flight positions--soaring, gliding, stooping, hovering, and so on. Equally helpful are the charts he provides that compare body, wing and head shapes of different kinds of hawks, falcons, and eagles. Ditto on the migration charts.

There's only one thing Liguori's guidebook doesn't have that I wish it did: photographs of perched hawks. I see lots of hawks when I'm driving that are perched on tree branches and electric lines, and I still have difficulty identifying them: redtail? Swainson's? Cooper's? Hopefully, the next edition of Hawks from Every Angle will include the perch angle as well. (In all fairness to Liguori, however, his book is subtitled "How to Identify Raptors in Flight.")

It would also be convenient were the book a bit smaller in size. It's broadness makes it a little burdensome in the field. But it could well be that a smaller format would've meant less precise photographs. If that's the case, the tradeoff is a good one.
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