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The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors – book review

Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori, and Brian Sullivan have produced a unique and much needed bird book in The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is a book you study at home so you can easily recognize North American raptors. The book has mystery-raptor quiz pages. It also has 101 stunning lifelike scenes developed through unique composite imagery. These images show the raptors as they actually appear in the field, under real-world conditions. In these images, the raptors are displayed in their various plumage from throughout their lifetime.

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors makes each raptor fly off the page into your mind’s eye as you read and glance through the book. The descriptions for each raptor are written as personal, first-person accounts. This introduces the ornithological techno jargon (OTJ) in a manner that does not distract us as readers from the vivid details of each raptor. Raptor topography is well explained from the supercilium (eyebrow) to the terminal band (end of the tail), and all features and plumage in between.

“The setting is undeniably astounding…anyone who has been here would concur…I scan the horizon for my target species…” (p. 180) begins the description of the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). When I read this, I am engaged, like a novel, and I want to turn the page and learn more of the story. While the composite plates with up to 20+ raptors on each plate a novel and evolutionary birding teaching guide, the writing makes the raptors’ stories come alive.

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.

How to order:

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

Paper Flexibound: The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Author: Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori, Brian Sullivan

ISBN: 9780691157405

Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, LEED AP, is a natural resource scientist and financial consultant.

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