A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors

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Overview

Whether soaring or perched, diurnal birds of prey often present challenging identification problems for the bird enthusiast. Variable plumage, color morphs, and unique individual characteristics are just some of the factors bird watchers must consider when identifying the different species. In this authoritative reference, two of the world's top experts on raptors provide an essential guide to the variations in the species, allowing for easier recognition of key identification points. All the distinguishing marks described have been exhaustively tested in a wide range of field conditions by the authors as well as the colleagues and students who have learned from them.

Key Features:

  • The only complete photographic guide to North American diurnal birds of prey
  • Includes all species, common and rare
  • Written by well-known experts
  • Contains 365 photographs, each with an explanatory caption and supporting text describing all 43 species of diurnal raptors found in North America
  • Features 14 discussions of specific problems in practical identification
  • Complete set showing every plumage
  • Raptor I.D. problem section showing similar species side by side

Species List:

Turkey Vulture. Black Vulture. California Condor. Osprey. Hook-billed Kite. Swallow-tailed Kite. White-tailed Kite. Snail Kite. Mississippi Kite. Bald Eagle. Northern Harrier. Sharp-shinned Hawk. Cooper's Hawk. Northern Goshawk. Common Black Hawk. Harris' Hawk. Gray Hawk. Red-shouldered Hawk. Broad-winged Hawk. Short-tailed Hawk. Swainson's Hawk. White-tailed Hawk. Zone-tailed Hawk. Red-tailed Hawk. Ferruginous Hawk. Rough-legged Hawk. Golden Eagle. Crested Caracara. American Kestrel. Merlin. Aplomado Falcon. Gyrfalcon. Peregrine. Prairie Falcon. Crane Hawk. Roadside Hawk. Hawaiian Hawk. Red-backed Hawk. Steller's Sea Eagle. White-tailed Eagle. Collared Forest Falcon. Northern Hobby. Common Kestrel.

Whether soaring or perched, diurnal birds of prey often present challenging identification problems for the bird enthusiast. Variable plumage, colour morphs, and unique individual characteristics are just some of the factors bird watchers must consider when identifying the different species. In this authoritative reference, two of the world's top experts on raptors provide an essential guide to the variations in the species, allowing for easier recognition of key identification points. All the distinguishing marks described have been exhaustively tested in a wide range of field conditions by the authors as well as the colleagues and students who have learned from them.

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Editorial Reviews

Auk
I highly recommend this useful guide.
— Keith L. Bildstein
Indiana Audubon Quarterly
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
Ibis
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
New Jersey Audubon Society
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
Wildbird
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.
Canadian Field-Naturalist
I recommend that you buy two copies, one for home and one for your vehicle.
HMANA Migration Studies
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!
Birding World
For the raptor enthusiast or North American birder, this is an essential purchase. . . . The authors and publishers have done their work well.
— Paul Doherty
Journal of Raptor Research
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
Birding
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
Toronto Star
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
Canadian Field Naturalist

I recommend that you buy two copies, one for home and one for your vehicle.
Auk - Keith L. Bildstein
I highly recommend this useful guide.
Indiana Audubon Quarterly - Charles E. Keller
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.
Ibis - Neil Hayward
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.
New Jersey Audubon Society - Pete Dunn
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.
Birding World - Paul Doherty
For the raptor enthusiast or North American birder, this is an essential purchase. . . . The authors and publishers have done their work well.
Journal of Raptor Research - Peter H. Bloom
The authors have done raptor aficionados a great service by greatly reducing the problems associated with this often difficult-to-identify group of birds.
Birding - Ned Harris
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.
Toronto Star - Barry Kent Mackay
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.
From the Publisher
"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

Toronto Star
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
Wildbird
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.
Ibis
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
HMANA Migration Studies
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!
Paul Doherty
For the raptor enthusiast or North American birder, this is an essential purchase....The authors and publishers have done their work well.
Birding World
Peter Bloom
The authors have done raptor aficionados a great service by greatly reducing the problems associated with this often difficult-to-identify group of birds.
Journal Of Raptor Research
Ned Harris
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.
Birding
Barry Kent MacKay
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, by Brian K. Wheeler and William S. Clark...This book, published by Academic Press, 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. Its a great gift for naturalists.
The Toronto Star
Humphrey Q.P. Crick
This is a fine guide and I certainly would not be without it if I lived in North America.
British Birds
Charles E. Keller
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.
Indian Audubon Quarterly
Neil Hayward
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.
Ibis
Wildbird
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 by BrianWheeler and William S. Clark is the perfect field guide for you. With this guide in hand, you will be ahead of other birders at hawkwatching hotspots.
Canadian Field Naturalist
I recommend that you buy two copies, one for home and one for your vehicle.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691116440
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 365,326
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Forward by Pete Dunne vii
Acknowledgments ix
Photo Credits xi
Introduction xiii
Glossary and Anatomy xv
Vultures 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Black Vulture 5
California Condor 7
Osprey 9
Kites 12
Hook-billed Kite 12
Swallow-tailed Kite 15
Snail Kite 20
Mississippi Kite 23
Northern Harrier 28
Accipiters 32
Sharp-shinned haek 32
Cooper's hawk 35
Northern Goshawk 38
Buteonines 42
Common Black Hawk 42
Harris' hawk 42
Gray Hawk 45
Red-shouldered Hawk 49
Broad-winged Hawk 56
Short-tailed Hawk 60
Swainsin's Hawk 63
White-tailed Hawk 73
Zoned-tailed hawk 79
Red-tailed Hawk 82
Ferruginous Hawk 100
Rough-legged hawk 108
Eagles 116
Bald Eagle 116
Golden eagle 123
Crested Caracara 127
Falcons 130
American Kestrel 130
Aplomado Falcon 133
Merlin 136
Prairie Falcon 141
Gyrfalcon 145
Peregrine 149
Vagrants 154
Crane Hawk 154
White-tailed Eagle 154
Stellar's Sea Eagle 155
Roadside hawk 159
Red-backed Buzzard 161
Hawiian hawk 162
Collared Forest-Falcon 163
Common Kestrel 164
Northern Hobby 166
Raptor identification problems 168
Index 197

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