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Comment: Publisher: Princeton University Press
Date of Publication: 2013
Binding: flexibound
Condition: Very Good to Near Fine
Description: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall 0691157405 286 pp. Tightly bound. Spine not compromised. Text is free of markings.
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The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (Crossley Id Guides) Flexibound – April 7, 2013

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The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (Crossley Id Guides) + The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds (The Crossley ID Guides) + The Warbler Guide
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Product Details

  • Series: Crossley Id Guides
  • Flexibound: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (April 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691157405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691157405
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Richard Crossley, Winner of the 2012 ABA Robert Ridgway Award for Publications in Field Ornithology, American Birding Association

Honorable Mention for the 2013 National Outdoor Book Awards, Nature Guidebooks

"Marvelous, if slightly surreal. . . . Crossley's charm lies in setting these birds against photographic dioramas--when was the last time you saw an urban skyline in a bird guide?"--Dominique Browning, New York Times Book Review

"If you love raptors and want to improve your identification skills buy this book. Leave it on your coffee table or bed stand and study it. Follow this prescription and show up at your next hawk watch ready to hold your own against the pros. My library includes a several outstanding raptor guides, which I will continue to use. However, The Crossley ID Guide to Raptors breaks new ground in the evolution of bird identification guides."--Wayne Mones, Audubon blog

"Richard Crossley takes his innovative approach to bird identification to the next level with The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. Along with the insights of co-authors and renowned raptor experts Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan, Crossley presents the 34 diurnal raptors of North America in stunning detail, combining conversational text and rich composite photographs to create an identification guide that birders of all experience levels can not only learn from but also enjoy, appreciate and read over and over again, rediscovering raptors on every page."--Melissa Mayntz, About.com Birding/Wild Birds

"Contains detailed species accounts with more identification tips and a plethora of useful information. The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is a great addition to any birder's library."--Alex Lamoreaux, Nemesis Bird

"With the help of Brian Sullivan and Jerry Liguori, Richard Crossley has produced another fantastic tool for us to develop our ability to identify birds of prey. Because this guide focuses on one category of birds, we're getting multiple composite plates for many of the species, rather than just one. Each bird image is carefully selected for a purpose. The Crossley ID Guide books can indeed be used to help you figure out which bird species you saw. Yet, the real purpose of this series is that Crossley Guides can and should be used as a study workbook before you go birding. It's like practicing birding in the comfort of your home by birding in the book itself, then you can take those skills into the field and 'recognize' birds rather than having to 'identify' them."--Robert Mortensen, Birding is Fun

"What the book is especially good for is to study between field trips to improve your knowledge of field marks and plumages when you have time to really study the differences. I especially liked the quiz pages where multiple similar species are shown sitting and in-flight, from various aspects, with the opportunity to determine the identification on your own before looking at the key."--Penny Miller, A Charm of Finches blog

"Richard Crossley takes the unique format introduced in his Eastern Birds guide and expands upon it. Every bird (except Aplomado Falcon) gets at least two pages devoted exclusively to it (Red-tailed gets ten!), plus inclusion in one or more of the mystery photos. These plates, where numbered images of different species are grouped together, are my favorite feature. With the answers in the back, they afford great practice at identification and provide the easiest way to compare species against each other. The Crossley raptor guide's insane number of photos and innovative design make it fun to study raptors."--Grant McCreary, Birder's Library

"The whole book is based upon this pioneering approach to bird identification, a method employed in the first Crossley Guide and continued here to even better effect. The new guide is an ideal way for beginner or novice birders to learn about raptors and an opportunity for the more experienced to sharpen up their skills on the 'Mystery Image' pages."--Philip Slade, Another Bird Blog

"A valuable addition to the numerous other North American Falconiform raptor identification guides, and one that hawk watchers, and birders generally, will want to include among their raptor identification aids."--Donald S. Heintzelman, Ornithologist and Author

"This guide makes that process of identifying quite easy, by visualizing and comparing with the help of a number of superb plates, colorful and razor sharp images. The information about all the species is comprehensive and precise as much as clear and intelligent. This ID Guide is a must have as part of your library."--H.J. Ruiz, Avian 101 blog

"Many volumes on raptors seem to assume that watching this group of species happens primarily at hawk watch sites during migration. For me, my greatest enjoyment of raptors comes from watching them at home in their breeding or wintering territories--perched in trees and on fence posts or cliffs. This will be a book I will turn to time and again to study those that are spending time in my area or to internalize information that will be helpful when I travel. I would heartily recommend this book to any birder or nature-lover who wants to get to know better the birds they encounter."--Judy Liddell, It's a Bird Thing

"As soon as you open the cover of this newest Crossley ID Guide you know you've struck gold. The composite pictures are big, bold, and beautiful. Every habitat known to raptors is covered, different times of day are featured, maps and 'detailed species accounts' are included."--Karen Roy, KaHolly

"Take the best of Jerry Liguori (author of Hawks from Every Angle and Hawks at a Distance), add the pioneering composite 'style' of Richard Crossley, the foremost birding knowledge of Brian L. Sullivan, and you have a Raptor ID Guide that should become the #1 reference guide for many years to come. This new Raptor guide is L.O.A.D.E.D!"--Jerry Jourdan, Jerry's Birding/Digiscoping Blog

"You don't need to be a specialist to enjoy this book, despite the amount of information presented. Everyone from the backyard birder to those of us who plan expeditions to see certain species can benefit from the knowledge painstakingly compiled by the authors here."--James McCoy, JPM Photography blog

"Birders and hawk watchers, you're going to love this book. The flood of photos provides enough images that you 'get it.' This is what the bird looks like in the field."--Kate St. John, Outside My Window blog

"It wasn't until I opened this book that I truly realized how inadequate a traditional field guide method is for identifying hawks. . . . With this book, you see the birds as you see them in the field. It's a book best perused while not birding. Spend some time immersed in the stunning double-page color plates. You'll begin to get a feel for what you need to look for. It's like training to be a pilot in a flight simulator. You're training to be a better raptor-watcher in the pages of a book. . . . I can't decide if the magnificent natural history and technical identification tips of the text is my favorite part of the book, or if the jaw-dropping plates continue to take the prize. Thankfully, you need not decide, as you get it all in one book."--Kirby Adams, National Parks Traveler

"[A] brilliant innovation in the depiction of birds for identification. . . . This ID guide, like Crossley's earlier works, are ideal tools for the birder to use to familiarize him/herself with the shape and appearance of these fascinating raptors before going birding. Returning from a birding trip, they can be used again to review one's notes and confirm identifications. They are, in short, an essential addition to birding literature and may, in time, have the same kind of impact as the revered Peterson."--Dorothy Borders, Backyard Birder

"A flying away winner!"--Bob Epstein, American Press Travel News

"To really develop confidence in identifying a bird species, you need to master five views: from above, from below, from head on, from tail on and from a lateral view (left or right). Crossley and colleagues make sure that views of all of all these perspectives are provided for each raptor."--Herb Wilson, Portland Press Herald

"I have plenty of bird guide books as I do consider myself a bit of a bird nerd. The one thing all my guide books have in common is they show one picture of a single bird, usually perched in a tree. That's good if you're looking out the window at a bird feeder, not so good if you're trying to identify a bird on the wing. That's where The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors comes in handy. . . . With this book you don't get just one image of a bird--there are so many different images for each one that the picture panels take up multiple pages."--Kecia Stewart, Fayetteville Observer

"If you love raptors, you will love this book."--Terry Richard, Oregonian

"A fun guide. There is an abundance of images of birds of prey in various poses, in the air seen from below and above, and in different light conditions. . . . The book would be a nice addition to any location where people gather to watch hawks and to birders who want to hone their skills."--Rob Butler, Vancouver Sun

"No raptor addict wants to be without this one."--Harry Fuller, Towhee Blog

"The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is the most complete guide to North American raptors. It covers all of North America's diurnal raptor species except owls. While The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors helps us learn the raptors as we see them, its greatest value is that we can study the raptors from the comfort of our own homes."--Gabriel Thoumi, Mongabay.com

"An excellent resource to use in studying these often confusing birds. . . . [W]hat I especially like about the book are the plates that show similar-looking birds together."--Steve Shultz, Carolina Bird Club Newsletter

"Three books in one! Annotated ID plates similar to the original Crossley ID Guide to birds. Expert in-depth species accounts covering status, distribution, and detailed plumage and flight style ID. Photo quizzes and answers. I really like this book."--Greg Gillson, Pacific NW Birder blog

"Eye candy! . . . The Crossley Guide will appeal to the rank beginner, the casual observer and the dedicated enthusiast. It is a must have addition to everyone's library!"--Gail Garber, Hawk's Aloft

"More useful, more natural, and more fun. It includes the condor and lets 34 raptor species spread their wings across 163 pages. Text descriptions fill another 96 pages, and 32 collages permit comparisons of different species."--Birdwatching Magazine

"In a word, stunning. . . . Birdcouple was hooked most of all by the quizzes at the back of the book. Raptors from above, below, perched, at sunrise. Amazing and informative. The only sad thing is how many birds we mis-ID'd."--Warren and Lisa Strobel, Birdcouple blog

"[Q]uite simply brilliant . . ."--Bo Beolens, Fatbirder

"[The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors] carves out a unique niche amongst hawk identification books, that of an identification tool that teaches as you read, that creates opportunities for interactive learning as a part of the identification and reference process. . . . Fills a niche surprisingly untouched by previous guides."--Donna Schulman, 10,000 Birds

"Crossley ID guides are a breath of fresh air in the bird guide department."--Wildlife Extra

"Any field guide that starts by recommending that you sit down to read it with a glass of wine is clearly taking an original approach. And that is certainly the case with this latest addition to the series of Crossley ID Guides. We're not suggesting that anyone should throw away their classic field guide, but the Crossley ID Guide complements it perfectly and makes a brilliant addition to any bookshelf. It challenges convention, it makes you want to learn more and it inspires you to get out and look at more birds. And in our book, that's a great achievement!"--Biggest Twitch

"A highly enjoyable way of getting to know some of the world's most memorable birds."--Matt Merritt, Bird Watching

"If you love diurnal raptors (vultures, eagles, hawks, kites, falcons), this is a must-have book."--Scott Shalaway, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"[Richard Crossley's] previous bird guide, for ID'ing Eastern birds, is the most imaginative, original attempt to re-envision the birding guide and set his approach apart from that of Sibley, Kaufman, Peterson, Nat'l Geo, and the other bibles in the field."--James Wolcott, Vanity Fair

"I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and see it as a wonderful addition to the growing library of knowledge on North American birds of prey."--Geoff Carpentier, OFO News

"This complete picture allows everyone from beginner to expert to understand and enjoy what he or she sees in the field. The mystique of bird identification is eliminated, allowing even novice birders to identify raptors quickly and simply. Comprehensive and authoritative."--Northeastern and Southeastern Naturalist

"Stuffed with wonderful photography this is a great ID guide if you are going to be looking at American Raptors, and one I would thoroughly recommend. I am very impressed by this book, and really looking forward to the Crossley ID Guide to Britain and Ireland now."--Ashley Beolens, Fat Photographer

"This revolutionary guide to hawks, eagles, falcons, and their allies features 101 arresting, full-page color plates that are each composites of multiple individual photos against natural backgrounds of raptors in varying distances and attitudes. An expert, substantial text."--Library Journal

"[The Crossley ID Guide series focuses] on maximising your chances of correctly identifying species by ramping up the number and variety of species images within the guide and placing these images within typical habitats. . . . Each beautiful plate is painstakingly filled with images of hundreds of individual species in different settings or from different angles to help recreate how you might encounter it."--Kate Jones, New Scientist

"Richard is a first class birder and bird photographer and it came as no surprise to learn that he was engaged in producing a completely revolutionary style of field guide aimed at identifying birds in the field based on a photographic format that places birds in real life situations. Richard has aimed his books at beginner and intermediate birders who are actively seeking identification help the most. . . . As a birder new to North American raptors I would have so loved to have had access to this guide on my first visit."--Mark Thomas, Birding Frontiers

"Raptors are perhaps the most charismatic of bird groups. They are well served by this excellent guide."--Choice

"This raptor guide is a can't-miss present for that naturalist on your list. . . . Simply gorgeous."--Bruce Fellman, A Naturalist's Journal

About the Author

Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder and photographer and the award-winning author of "The Crossley ID Guide" series (Princeton/Crossley Books), which has been recognized for its pioneering approach to bird identification. He is also a coauthor of "The Shorebird Guide" and the cofounder of the Pledge to Fledge global birding initiative, and he is working on multiple birding projects involving mixed media and new technologies such as birdcams. Jerry Liguori is the author of "Hawks from Every Angle" and "Hawks at a Distance" (both Princeton). He has been studying raptors throughout North America for more than twenty-five years and has conducted hawk counts at numerous spring and fall migration sites. Brian Sullivan is the coauthor of the forthcoming "Princeton Guide to North American Birds". He is eBird project leader and photographic editor of the Birds of North America Online at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as well as photographic editor for the American Birding Association's journal, "North American Birds".

Customer Reviews

The photos of numerous birds in every conceivable setting is very well done.
Utah RR
Set up like the othe ID Guide, but also includes quiz pages where you ID th birds youself and need to look in the back for the answers.
L. C. Benedict
This book shows raptors in flight from many angles, making identification easier.
Patricia G. McKown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By TomCat on March 26, 2013
Format: Flexibound
I've been waiting for this book for a year now. When I saw some of the sample pages on Richard's facebook page and web site I was practically salivating. And many of the pages are indeed, magnificent. But overall I'm disappointed and I think he has missed the mark with this one.

In most cases it is not the pictures that I have a problem with but the way they are used, organized and labeled. In some cases labels aren't necessary; but in many cases they are essential, and leaving them unlabeled makes them pretty much useless or irrelevant. I love Richard's technique of showing birds in all aspects, but I think some organization according to age, sex, race, etc. would make them much more meaningful. To really tell the difference between two birds I want to see them in more or less the same "pose". Instead they are just randomly plastered on the pages.

But what I have the most problem with is that almost half the book has been made into an ID quiz, where you have to look at numbered pictures on a page and then go to another page at the back of the book to find the correct answers. First, I really don't want that at all, second it is unreasonably hard to go back and forth hundreds or maybe thousands of times to find the answer. I would much rather just have more pictures on the ID pages and more of those pages. But if the quiz format is necessary, put the answers at the bottom of the page the pictures are on. I promise I won't cheat. As it is, all those pictures (half the pictures in the book) are just useless for ID unless you write the answers next to the picture. It's the same thing as buying a book of crossword puzzles and having to go to the back of the book for the answers.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alex Forsythe on March 29, 2013
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I am an avid birder and a youth advisor for the Indiana Audubon Society’s Young Birders Club. I own over a dozen field guides and I can say without hesitation that the field guides by Richard Crossley are my favorites. What sets his guides apart from others is the photography. Most field guides have beautiful drawings of birds that are perched perfectly against a stark white background. The drawings are lovely and descriptive, but when you are birding, the birds are rarely perched against a white background. On the contrary, they are usually quite active, moving throughout their habitats through shadows and light. Richard Crossley’s field guides do provide photographs of birds that are perched perfectly in ideal lighting, but they also include photographs of the birds the way you will most likely see them: flying, in different plumage (breeding, juvenile, etc.), and in their common habitats. This feature makes the field guides ideal for identifying birds. Whether you are a beginner or advanced birder, or a wildlife photography enthusiast, you will love these books. ~Alex Forsythe
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By gt surber on April 7, 2013
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
"The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors" is a magnificently beautiful book. It is filled with vivid pictures, well designed images and clear descriptions of the raptors. For a beginning birder, this an excellent place to start studying the raptors. This is not the end all, ultimate raptor text for specialists, but it is outstanding for the rest of us. And as in all good nature books, actually going outside amidst the raptors is absolutely necessary.

A large part of the book is id mystery pictures and questions, leading the user (user is beyond reader in using the book for field id and for arm chair study) into really looking at the raptors and learning the differences. Thus this a good teaching tool. I found it amazing there are only 37 raptor species in the lower 48 states. Each species is fully described and pictured through its development stages. A weakness of the book could be considered in that the editors did not put the images in a simple progression on one page for each specie. But the pictures are there, and there is a good description of the various ages of the birds.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about raptors. For the non specialist, this is an excellent book both field and armchair. So buy it, read it, peruse it, and use it to increase your joy in observing Nature, in this case raptors.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Maureen b. on March 22, 2013
Format: Flexibound
As a novice birder and schoolteacher, "The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors" gives me the perfect starting point for raptor ID. I already have the "Crossley ID Guide:Eastern Birds"-just beautiful imagery and fun to look at. The plates in the Raptor Guide are done in the Crossley way- with lots of stunning wide-open vistas. There are differences, such as many mystery photos suitable for beginner and intermediate birders. The pages that show feeding and behavior are fascinating. There is also lots of other thought-provoking imagery-black and white, odd angles, etc. The text is really engaging and informative. As a beginner, this is something I don't see in other guides. It seems a much easier and fun way to learn-the patterns and repetition are extremely helpful(it is how we teach at school). I look at birds a different way now, with more confidence. I love this style of book.
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