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A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors Paperback – 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors
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  • A Field Guide to Hawks of North America (Peterson Field Guides)
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  • Hawks from Every Angle: How to Identify Raptors In Flight
Total price: $50.49
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Considered the definitive raptor identification guide for North America, this essential resource for birders includes photos and text for distinguishing between hawks, falcons, eagles, and vultures in the field, paying careful attention to plumage variations in juveniles and adults. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"I highly recommend this useful guide."--Keith L. Bildstein, Auk

"No one is better at the variabilities of raptor identification than this team of two. . . . The excellent photographs are clear and well chosen. . . . If you take your hawk-watching seriously, buy it."--Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Quarterly

"The 377 colour photographs are without exception truly stunning. . . . The plates are conveniently placed next to the relevant species account and show all plumage, both in flight and perched. . . . The authors are to be applauded for their expertise, while not forgetting the problems of the beginner, making this book ideal for both the novice and the profession: there is something new for everyone."--Neil Hayward, Ibis

"As a hawk watcher of long standing, I have eagerly awaited this utilitarian partner to . . . Hawks. First, because as a reference tool, it will be invaluable to serious hawk watchers. The information it contains is age class and subspecies specific; the format is straight forward; and the material is easily referenced. . . . This new guide, with its employment of photos and integrated concern for the problems presented by lookalike species, will also serve the novice, saving them much time, effort, embarrassment, and . . . Frustration! On a global scale, there are few living human beings who know more about birds of prey than William S. Clark and none, to my mind, who know more about their identification. On the more focused subject of North America's diurnal raptors, he has few peers . . . but one of them is Brian K. Wheeler, whose photos dominate this book. . . . There are many nature photographers who specialize in capturing birds of prey on film. Few are as good as Wheeler and some say none."--Pete Dunn, Director, Natural History Information, New Jersey Audubon Society

"Are you having difficulty unraveling the mysteries of identifying birds of prey? If you are baffled by seemingly similar silhouettes of birds of prey, not to mention plumage variations, then A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors . . . is the perfect field guide for you. With this guide in hand, you will be ahead of other birders at hawkwatching hotspots."--Wildbird

"I recommend that you buy two copies, one for home and one for your vehicle."--Canadian Field Naturalist

"This book will change your mind about the importance of photographic guides. You will want to use this guide. Here you are treated to stunning photographs that depicts all the field marks that are mentioned in an informative text. . . . This is one outstanding effort and it is a genuine pleasure to look through this book. Brian Wheeler and Bill Clark are the continent's leading authorities on the field identification of diurnal birds of prey. As such, any work that they produce should be taken seriously. They have consistently produced identification publications that have changed the entire hawkwatching world in a significant and positive manner. This field guide is no exception. It offers a novel approach to the identification of hawks in a wonderfully pleasurable environment. Bravo!"--HMANA Migration Studies

"For the raptor enthusiast or North American birder, this is an essential purchase. . . . The authors and publishers have done their work well."--Paul Doherty, Birding World

"The authors have done raptor aficionados a great service by greatly reducing the problems associated with this often difficult-to-identify group of birds."--Peter H. Bloom, Journal of Raptor Research

"This excellent book is a must-buy for anyone interested in improving their raptor ID skills. I believe it is well worth the price for the high-quality photos alone, but careful review of the test also reveals a wealth of state-of-the-art raptor ID tips that have been field tested by the authors."--Ned Harris, Birding

"Never have I seen a photograph better capture the essence of a birds appearance in flight than the wonderful color photograph of a rough-legged hawk gracing the cover of A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors. . . . This book . . . is filled with such images of birds of prey. The pictures are carefully picked, not just for the aesthetic quality that is virtually inevitable for any good photographs of raptors, but to greatly assist birders in the identification of this sometimes bewildering array of birds. It's a great gift for naturalists."--Barry Kent Mackay, Toronto Star
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069111644X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691116440
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is simply the best field guide for North American diurnal raptors that I have seen. Unlike some other photgraphic guides, it provides several images of each species in poses that one is likely to see in the field: perched and soaring from above and the side (showing field marks of top of wing and tail). It shows several examples of different morphs and ages for most birds. This is critical in understanding the variability in markings within a species. In addition, it has a section on field identification problems, detailing differences between similar looking birds. To my knowledge, there is no substitute.
However, the paperback version is somewhat cheaply produced. The publisher should improve the binding and the quality of paper for this book. Try not to get it wet.
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Format: Paperback
This masterpiece is one of the best field guides for raptors in North America. Readers are treated to several pictures of each type of bird. Raptors are shown perched and in flight, face on and in side view. Readers also see the field markings on the birds which are fully explained in a clear, direct way. A guide to helping readers identify the differences among the raptors is also provided. This is an excellent, outstanding work.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best photographic guide to north american raptors available. The photos are very clear so you can see details on plumage. It also includes multiple photos of the species that have morphs, which is very helpful in the field. This is not a book I would recommend if you are using it for written reference. But I give it 5 stars for a field reference guide!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a naturalist from the age of seven or so, I have long been a keen observer of birds with particular attention paid to the raptors and soaring birds. All the books I had previously owned or seen about raptors stop far short of giving the info necessary for identifying the hawks and eagles of various ages and genders, as many of them will resemble another breed at various levels of maturity and in different seasons. This book almost eliminates those problems, giving excellent photos and descriptions that enable positive identification provided the observer gets a good enough look at the bird. It also provides useable field id pointers that will eliminate many questions with only a "sketchy" look at a flying or sitting raptor.

A good book that should sit on the front seat of any raptor friend's car; one that will be used time and again in the field.
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Format: Hardcover
A good book to start your field and in hand bird identification specialty book shelf.
The pictures of birds flying over head are much improved over the paperback Peterson series book "Hawks" by Clark and Wheeler.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a good reference, but not as a stand-alone reference for identification of hawks. I live along a major autumn hawk migration route where more than 15,000 raptors are seen almost every year, some at a considerable distance. This book is very helpful for comparing similar looking species, but I have found that several references on hawks are sometimes needed to make a reliable identification.

Marshall Faintich, author of "A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Wintergreen."
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Format: Paperback
I live in an important migratory bird path from South American to Canada and needed a comprehensive field guide to help me identify raptors at various ages of development, in various morphs, on the ground, and in flight. I was pleased with the 43 species covered. In addition, there is a section entitled "Raptor Identification Problems" which further clarifies identification especially involving similar species.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book specifically to improve my ability to identify different buteos and their various morphs. I live in South Texas that holds a good number of resident Harris hawks, Crested Caracaras, American Kestrils and a few others. During the migration and winter, the hawk/falcon population soars [pardon the pun], including the number of buteos. Well, despite their size and relatively sedentary natures I have problems identifying many of these hawks. Certainly a mature redtailed redtail hawk is easy to identify but I have seen very few of these classical morphs.

I hoped this book would help me but I made something of a mistake purchasing a photographic guide. For reasons beyond me, photographs are less helpful to me than accurate drawings. This may be my specific problem but I suspect their are other bird aficionados who have the same problem.

The photos in this book are excellent, showing the various species and their various morphs in different poses. The organization is good but, for whatever reason, it hasn't helped me much.

At the same time I bought this book, I bought Pertersen's excellent 'Hawks of North America'. It contains both drawings and photographs. The organization is good and it is adding to my ability to identify these birds.

Ron Braithwaite, author of novels--'Skull Rack' and 'Hummingbird God'--on the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
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