Win a Signed Copy of the ‘Crossley ID Guide: Raptors’
With a highly visual approach to birds and birding, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in raptors.
UPDATE 5/25/2013: The contest is now closed.
We're giving away five copies of Crossley ID Guide: Raptors--each one signed by the authors, Richard Crossley, Jerry Liquori, Brian Sullivan. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below, and be sure to include a viable email address (it won't show up on the page). The official rules are below. The contest ends at midnight, Friday, May 24, 2013. In the meantime, the authors offer a description of the fantastic guide below. Good luck!
If you've ever witnessed someone's first experience of observing a perched hawk through a spotting scope, seeing an eagle snatch a fish from the water, or catching a glimpse of a hawk in his or her own yard, you know the person is simply mesmerized. What is it that is so exciting about raptors? Is it that they are skillful predators? Is it that they are big and powerful? Is it that they look menacing? Whatever it is, one thing is certain: they are attention grabbing even to non-birders, and they are a favored group among birders! This favored status is evident in the throngs of hawk watchers who visit raptor migration sites each spring and fall with an obsession and fervor unmatched in the realm of birding. During the migration seasons, it is common practice for hawk watchers to spend weekends or days off at their local watch sites, spending countless hours staring into the sky in search of raptors. They might even plan an entire vacation to coincide with the peak time for hawk migration. Being present for a "big day" is the highlight of their year, but missing the "big day" is heartbreaking. The biggest hawk flights are the stuff of legend, and to be part of one of these migration events can be the birding experience of a lifetime.
One aspect of hawk watching that is forever a hot topic is identification. There is a mystique about hawk identification, especially in regard to high-flying or distant raptors that are barely visible to the average person. Birders are fascinated when hawk watchers can identify these "specks" in the sky and eager to listen to experienced watchers discuss the finer points of raptor ID. At first, it seems impossible to identify birds at the limit of vision or to tell similar species apart, even up close. But with practice all aspects of hawk identification become clearer and easier to understand. Successful hawk identification relies on becoming familiar with raptors in the field and on understanding which field marks to focus on when observing a raptor in a particular situation. Each species gives a different impression or "feel," but expressing these subjective differences in words and pictures can be difficult. The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors presents birds in lifelike scenes so that the images (large and small) become imprinted on the reader, similar to the way one learns a new language by subconsciously absorbing it.
Raptors can be seen flying and perched at a range of distances, at varying perspectives, and in a number of settings. Because of these varying views, many nuances are involved in raptor identification, such as structure, flight style, plumage, habitat, and behavior, and each is equally important to learn. It is also important to know that specific aspects of ID are more reliable than others in certain instances. For example, the shape of a bird may be easier to tell than its plumage on a cloudy day or at a distance, or vice versa. It is helpful to visit migration or winter sites with concentrations of raptors in order to see a number of birds in one day, and often multiple species side by side. Seeing birds again and again is good ID practice and accelerates the learning process. Remember, it is impossible to identify every bird you see, but it's fun to try!
CROSSLEY ID GUIDE GIVEAWAY OFFICIAL RULES AND REGULATIONS
1) Sponsor: Audubon Magazine, an operating unit of National Audubon Society, Inc., 225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014 ("Audubon Magazine" or "Audubon").
2) No purchase necessary.
3) The "Crossley ID Guide Giveaway" ("Contest") is open from 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time ("ET") on May 1, 2013 through 11:59 p.m. ET on May 24, 2013;