Birds of prey can be particularly difficult to track for a variety of reasons: - Nocturnal behavior - Remote habitats - Migratory patterns - Swift flight speeds
Hawks and Owls depicts both the subtle differences and rich diversity among these awe-inspiring birds. With crisp, clean photographs and precise identification notes, this guide makes quick and accurate classifications easier.
The families of birds includes:
- New world vultures
- Osprey, kites, eagles, hawks and allies
- Caracara and falcons
- Barn and bay owls
- Typical owls
The information on each species is concisely organized and includes the differences between male and female, seasonal and immature plumage, morphs and distinctive markings. Color pictures and range maps accompany the text. The 180 photographs from award-winning photographers show these birds in their natural environments through the seasons. Comparison pages group similar-looking birds on a single page for quick reference.
Hawks and Owls is a sturdy, pocket-sized field guide that will be indispensable to naturalists, students and birders at all levels of experience, from Florida to Ontario.
|Publisher:||Firefly Books, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Chris G. Earley is the Interpretive Biologist at the University of Guelph's Arboretum and author of Sparrows and Finches... and Warblers... both books are for the Great Lakes Region and Eastern North America.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A lingering perk: Some publishers still have my name listed as editor of the NAFA Hawk Chalk. Evidently Firefly Books is one, and I¿m thankful for that. Some very good natural history and reference titles are available from this company, and they recently sent me one for review.
Chris G. Earley (the Canadian biologist who produced similar regional guides to sparrows & finches, and warblers; both titles with Firefly) makes an excellent addition to the growing list of photographic guides to North American raptors. There are some heavy hitters in this field already (e.g., Clark and Wheeler¿s 1995 guide and subsequent editions), which raise the bar for any newcomers. But Earley¿s concise volume is well constructed and worth adding to any falconer or birder¿s library.
Earley presents the raptors (diurnals first, then the owls) in their basic taxonomic groups or genera. He opens with a brief discussion of the guide¿s conventions (size comparisons, the standard icons he uses for quick reference, etc.) and good, basic advice for hawk watchers (to wit: watch the hawk first, as long as you can, then look it up). He completes his introduction with diagrams of avian anatomy as they relate to field identification, adding notes on common ¿hawk look-alikes¿ and a chart for best raptor viewing by season and species.
The following species accounts are brief, each covering two to four pages with large, well-composed color photos illustrating. A short note on natural history is typically accompanied by viewing and ID tips (some include literary quotes), and capped with the book¿s standardized set of icons and field notes. The author¿s selection of images is especially helpful, with color morphs and age-appropriate plumages displayed in easy-to-compare views. It is noteworthy that unlike some of the less qualified sources of raptor photo ID (especially those on the Web), the Cooper¿s hawks shown herein are actually Cooper¿s hawks; the Sharp-shins actually Sharp-shins. One particularly fine image (by Brian Wheeler) shows an adult male and female Cooper¿s standing together and dramatically captures their size dimorphism.
Earley closes this small volume with notes on how the public may help and observe raptors in their area, some suggested reading and a very helpful photographic ¿summing up¿ of included species that allows, via a series of charts, direct comparisons of similar species: the accipiters to each other, buteos to other buteos, and so on, which saves the reader the task of flipping pages to note the differences. Of course, I happily flipped between the pages anyway.
Still the best book about Hawks and Owls Ever