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Hawks in Flight: The Flight Identification of North American Migrant Raptors Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reprint edition (April 12, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395510228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395510223
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The standard field guides tend to assume that the observer will be close enough to the bird to pick out details of color and patterns for identification. Hawks, falcons, and their kin, however, are often seen in flight at distances far too great for color and pattern to be apparent: can they still be accurately identified? Yes, say the authors of this guide to the 23 most abundant and widespread raptors of the United States and Canada, who then show how with text and pictures. Serious birders can, and will want to, learn these techniques, so the book will be a worthwhile addition to all popular ornithology collections. (Photos not seen). Paul Cors, Univ. of Wyoming Lib., Laramie
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A landmark . . . a book I could learn a lot from." -- Roger Tory Peterson

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Anyone who seriously pursues the sport of hawk watching must have this book.
William E. Sanderson
I bought this book when it first came out in 1989 and it was just about the only raptor-only book out there at the time, and I found it quite useful.
magellan
Great black and white drawings of adults and immatures of many species as well as different "phases" of the same species.
Neil P. Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By William E. Sanderson on August 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is no other guide which even approaches Hawks in Flight for thoroughness, clarity, and utility. Anyone who seriously pursues the sport of hawk watching must have this book.
For those just starting out in hawk watching, and for general use by even the most serious hawk watchers, I strongly recommend another work by Dunne et al., Hawk Watch: A Guide for Beginners, which is a large-format condensed version of Hawks in Flight. this book does focus exclusively on eastern species, however. Having both books is ideal.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By atakdoug@csonline.net on February 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
A really great, useable book. Identifying a raptor is rarely difficult if you see it well. This book will help you learn to do it when you don't see the bird well.
When you devote 250 pages to just 23 species, you get to include a lot of information. But this isn't a book that's crammed with facts, figures, and field marks. The descriptions, line drawings, and photographs are intended to teach you how to tell these birds apart in the real world, where profile and silhouette usually matter more than detailed markings. And they work.
Although the coverage is a little biased toward the eastern U.S., this book is invaluable for distinguishing all of the buteos, accipiters, eagles, falcons, and vultures regularly found in North America, except for a number of extreme-southern species. And even if where you live you have to deal with White-tailed Hawks and Hook-billed Kites, and hope someday to find a Crane Hawk, at least this book will help you to become expert with the more widespread species.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book gives excellent information on how to tell hawks apart with very little information. Peter Dunne's experience at hawk migration stations helped him to distill hawk identification keys and he presents the information in an interesting way. This is not your usual dry field guide.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Carl Andrews on March 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for any raptor fanatic. I used to be so confused on how to tell all those buteos apart, except when it was an obvious red tail. It is definatly worth the money, it is not meant to be a "ooh look at the pretty pictures kind of bird book", it is a holistic approach to identification, you learn about flight traits of each raptor, overall impression, plumage, etc. Read the whole thing so you really get whats going on. I am much more confident and knowledgeable after having studied this book. Buy it, worth it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on July 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
HAWKS IN FLIGHT by Peter Dunne is a useful book because it includes many photos and drawings of various species of Raptors in flight. When you see a Raptor, you generally have no way to identify it except by it's flight profile. Feather markings simply cannot be seen when a bird is sailing on a current of air or scuttling after prey. Once in a while I've surprised a hawk at rest, but generally it is well hidden in the leaves of a tree and takes off before I can get a good look. Even the Cooper's Hawk I see on my morning commute along the parkway is usually sitting back on a branch waiting for road kill (he is one fat lazy bird).
The photos in HAWKS IN FLIGHT show the birds as seen from the side flying close to the ground and as well as overhead. The book also includes drawings showing birds that resemble each other juxtaposed side by side as they would never appear in nature. Some of the photos are not very clear and the drawings are darker than I like, but no less a birder than Roger Tory Petersen recommended this book which nicely complements his own books.
Although the title includes the reference to hawks, the chapters cover Buteos, Accipiters, Falcons, Kites, Harriers, Eagles, Ospreys, and Vultures. The chapter on Accipiters covers the Cooper's Hawk, the hawk I see by the roadside in Washington DC. We also see Falcons chasing our song birds. A whole lot of back-stabbing goes on in this town.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By merrymousies on November 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a really interesting book. It has some photographs (which have inspired me to get out to Cape May and other cool birding havens) but most of the pictures are black & white drawings. The detail I think is actually pretty good. The drawings do not give specific detail of color shading etc but instead provide the broader strokes of major markings or wing shape or how the bird might look looking down at you. There are head-on profiles (in different modes of flight), some top down drawings, but mostly looking up and side. The raptors are segmented into the different groups of Buteos, Accipters Falcons, Kites, Northern Harrier, Eagles & Vultures, and Osprey. Within each section each bird has a few pages with pictures and really neat info about their migration patterns as well as tips for id.
I'm still not very good at id of these birds but I love watching them and trying to id them. This book is a really good resource!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carmen C. Arendt on December 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Buteo identification has always been a challenge for me, but over the Christmas Day Birdcount I was able to get an identification I would have never gotten without the volume. The subtle parsing of the various colors, sizes, behaviors, etc. of raptors makes this more useful then a field guide for understanding on what you should be focusing when catching that 5 or 6 seconds of "flying away raptor".

Another reviewer mentioned the grainy photographs, which is dead-on. Unfortunately, I have to say that those photographs are (approximately) how I am seeing most of these birds. So, they are an odd bit of help, really.
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