Book Review: Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, by Richard Crossley, Jerry Ligouri, and Brian Sullivan

Reviewed by Stephen J. Bodio

When I reviewed the first Crossley Guide, I had mixed feelings. I applauded it for its inventiveness, and found it extremely useful for ducks on the water; I found its treatment of songbirds less useful, and its bombastic claims amusing. I suspected it would work better for some bird groups than others, and that those would be expanded. The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors has fulfilled my hopes for the system—it may be the best and most useful guide, especially for beginners, that exists. Instead of reading the useful preface and introduction, I immediately jumped to the ID quiz plates of raptors in flight, and found that although I did well, I had something to learn. Carefully arranged and chosen photos set in a realistic background, at all distances, can challenge anyone; the flight images are tough but fair, with no tricks, and honed my experienced eyes. For a 63 year-old falconer-biologist-raptorphile who has kept many of the species featured, that is quite an admission to make.

I am keeping my copy of the book.

The Cornell Lab

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