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;
4) Eligible entrants must be at least 18 years old as of May 1, 2013, and a resident of the contiguous 48 United States, excluding Florida. Employees, officers, and directors of Sponsor its parents, subsidiaries, and any and all entities directly associated with the Contest, including immediate family members and members of the same household, are not eligible to participate (collectively with Sponsor, the "Contest Entities"). Void where prohibited by law. Contest is governed by U.S. law and subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. By entering the Contest, entrants agree to accept and be bound by all the terms of these Official Rules and Regulations ("Official Rules").
5) To enter leave a comment by completing the "Your name", "E-mail" and "Comment" fields (the Submission") on the following article page of Audubon Magazine's website: URL will go here. The "Homepage" field on such article page is optional and will have no effect on your chances. Email addresses submitted with any Submission must be valid. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify and remove any Submission at any time in the event it is determined Submission is offensive, inappropriate, not in keeping with Sponsor's image or if it is determined that the entrant has not otherwise complied with any portion of these Official Rules.
6) Only one entry permitted per person.
7) Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.
8) Five winners will each receive one copy of the book The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, by Richard Crossley, Jerry Liquori, and Brian Sullivan, Princeton University Press 2013 (value: $29.95) (Total value of all prizes: $124.75).
9) Winners will be selected by a random drawing conducted by Audubon Magazine on May 30 and notified by Audubon Magazine via email on or before May 31, 2013. If within five (5) business days using Audubon Magazine's reasonable effort, any winner does not respond to Audubon Magazine's notification email, or otherwise cannot be contacted, or is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may be selected.
10) Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, viruses, bugs, malfunctions, or other any other errors, human or otherwise, regardless of the cause (collectively, an "Error"). In the event of any Error, Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion to discontinue, suspend, cancel, or modify the Contest. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor reserves the right to judge all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to the Error requiring such cancellation using the selection procedure outlined above. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entrant at any time in the event of any evidence of false or deceptive acts by an entrant, including, but not limited to, multiple Submissions or Submissions generated by script, macro or other automatic means; any Submission determined to be offensive, inappropriate or not in keeping with Sponsor's image; or failure to otherwise comply with these Official Rules. Prize is subject to availability. No substitution or transfer of prizes or cash redemptions permitted, except at Sponsor's sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute for any reason whatsoever a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value, at their sole discretion. Sponsor does not have, nor shall have in the future, any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of any copyright in and to entrant's Submission. Winners are responsible for the reporting and payment of all taxes as well as any other costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of their prize not specified herein as being awarded.
11) Contest Entities and their designees have the right, unless prohibited by law, to use entrant's name, city and state of residence, voice, picture and likeness, without compensation, notification or approval, for the purpose of advertising and publicizing the goods, services and mission of the Contest Entities and all matters related to the Contest, in any manner or medium, now or hereafter known, throughout the world in perpetuity.
12) Entrants may be required to execute any documents necessary to perfect such rights in the Sponsor. By entering this Contest and/or accepting the prize, entrant and/or winner agrees to, and hereby does, release the Contest Entities from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with participation or attempt to participate in the Contest and/or the awarding, receipt, use or misuse of the prize or participation in any prize related activities, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy. The Contest Entities and their parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and divisions, and their respective directors, officers, employees, attorneys, representatives and agents make no warranties, and hereby disclaim all warranties, express or implied, concerning any prize furnished or awarded in connection with the Contest, including, but not limited to, any winner's ability to claim a prize awarded in the Contest for reasons of the prize provider's bankruptcy, insolvency or failure to continue its business. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SUCH PRIZES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND THE CONTEST ENTITIES HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND/OR NONINFRINGEMENT.
13) You may obtain the name and city of residence of winners by mailing a self-addressed stamped envelope to Crossley ID Guide Giveaway, c/o Audubon Magazine, 225 Varick Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014.