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The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds

The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds

Richard Crossley
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 528
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  • Book Info
    The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds
    Book Description:

    This stunningly illustrated book from acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley revolutionizes field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification. Whether you are a beginner, expert, or anywhere in between,The Crossley ID Guidewill vastly improve your ability to identify birds.

    Unlike other guides, which provide isolated individual photographs or illustrations, this is the first book to feature large, lifelike scenes for each species. These scenes--640 in all--are composed from more than 10,000 of the author's images showing birds in a wide range of views--near and far, from different angles, in various plumages and behaviors, including flight, and in the habitat in which they live. These beautiful compositions show how a bird's appearance changes with distance, and give equal emphasis to characteristics experts use to identify birds: size, structure and shape, behavior, probability, and color. This is the first book to convey all of these features visually--in a single image--and to reinforce them with accurate, concise text. Each scene provides a wealth of detailed visual information that invites and rewards careful study, but the most important identification features can be grasped instantly by anyone.

    By making identification easier, more accurate, and more fun than ever before,The Crossley ID Guidewill completely redefine how its users look at birds. Essential for all birders, it also promises to make new birders of many people who have despaired of using traditional guides.

    Revolutionary. This book changes field guide design to make you a better birderA picture says a thousand words. The most comprehensive guide: 640 stunning scenes created from 10,000 of the author's photographsReality birding. Lifelike in-focus scenes show birds in their habitats, from near and far, and in all plumages and behaviorsTeaching and reference. The first book to accurately portray all the key identification characteristics: size, shape, behavior, probability, and colorPractice makes perfect. An interactive learning experience to sharpen and test field identification skillsBird like the experts. The first book to simplify birding and help you understand how to bird like the bestAn interactive expanded captions for the plates and species updates

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3923-0
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-2)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 3-4)
    (pp. 5-5)
    Richard Crossley
  4. Quick Key to Species
    (pp. 6-21)
    (pp. 22-35)

    Personally, I soon get very bored with the introductory sections of any book. My guess is that many of you feel the same way. But this book is quite different from any that you have used before, so please, please do read on to get a clearer understanding of its overall design and how you might get the most from it.

    The past is important because invariably it shapes who we are and how we think.

    I grew up in England. I started collecting eggs when I was 7 and was introduced to birding, as so many people are, by...

  6. Species Accounts

    • Waterbirds

        (pp. 36-97)

        There are few sights in birding more inspiring than a huge flock of honking geese ‘blasting off.’ Because they are large birds, and usually occur in flocks, often in their thousands, they can be easy to find and watch. Geese often return to roost on the same bodies of water every night, and are equally at home in rural areas or in city parks and lakes. They tend to be very vocal and are often heard before they are seen. The sound of migrating geese at night is a great treat. In addition to the spectacle they provide, they are...

        (pp. 98-143)

        Though birding logistics may sometimes be difficult when trying to see these birds, this group in general is always intriguing. Some species can be seen from land, but typically only in the worst weather conditions. Usually a telescope is necessary for seawatching. Most species breed on rocky islands, some of which are accessible by boat, particularly in the NE. Often seabirds only come ashore at night. In part because of this, there are big gaps in our knowledge of some of these species, and in some cases we just don’t know where they breed. Birds such as Black-capped Petrel may...

        (pp. 144-218)

        An incredibly diverse and interesting group of birds, shorebirds, or waders as they are known outside North America, are popular for 2 reasons: they are fairly common in suitable habitat, usually wet areas but also certain types of fields and beaches; and a number of different species are often seen together, giving repeated opportunities for comparison.

        The majority of species breed on inaccessible tundra, so they are seen most frequently during migration or on their wintering grounds much farther south. Turnover at these spots can be high, so repeated visits will invariably yield new birds. Looking out onto a marsh...

    • Landbirds

        (pp. 219-230)

        Gamebirds are chicken-like. They spend most of their lives on the ground. Yet, although most species are thought of as ground-dwelling, some are often happy in trees, eating buds and roosting, particularly in cold winter months.

        They tend to be very hard to see under most conditions, and will often hunker down, their cryptic colors keeping them amazingly well hidden. When you get too close they ‘explode’ from the ground, no doubt scaring you more than them. Round-winged, they fly with a series of shallow flaps followed by glides, and always run back into cover as soon as they land....

      • RAPTORS
        (pp. 231-268)

        Raptors are one of the most popular groups of birds in North America—and throughout the world. Many species are large and powerful, and spend a lot of time in flight, either on migration or in search of food. Many regions have hawkwatch migration sites, which are often great vantage points to see good numbers of birds and share insights and experiences with fellow birders. In recent times, the ban on certain dangerous chemicals, such as DDT, has aided in the recovery of raptor populations, including species such as Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon. Other species, such as American Kestrel...

        (pp. 269-314)

        Nighthawks and nightjars (collectively called goatsuckers) are mostly nocturnal. Goatsuckers sing primarily at dawn and dusk. All are a similar cryptic brown. Nighthawks have wingtips that reach or go past the tail (pointed in flight). Nightjars have wingtips that are shorter than the tail (rounded in flight). Nighthawks have unbarred primaries; in some species the primaries are inticately barred and marked and serve as superb camouflage. Species in this group are not only difficult to find, due to their cryptic plumage and nocturnal habits, but are also tough to identify. As with other cryptic groups, such as owls and grouse,...

        (pp. 315-331)

        Most of us are familiar with the special beauty of ‘hummers.’ Their tiny size, tenacity, and incredibly rapid wingbeats (up to 80 times a second) fascinate and entertain. Although, for most of our region, Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the species that occurs in summer, in recent times the number and variety of hummingbirds wintering in the Southeast has increased. A number of species seem to be expanding north with birds showing up as far as Canada in late fall and winter. The list of potential species is almost limitless. From late October until Christmas, plants, such as blooming pineapple sage, and...

        (pp. 332-516)

        Small flycatchers, mostlyEmpidonax(often known as empids), have always been the scourge of bird ID, for beginners and experts alike. Just when you think you have it worked out, you encounter birds that completely stump you. However, with practice and good views, most birds can be identified. Part of the problem is that views tend to be very brief. Birds are often in bright light one minute and shade the next. All empids have wing bars, eyerings, and variable coloring. For these reasons, always scrutinize size, proportions, and bill length. Color, however, is particularly important when dealing with Yellow-bellied...

    (pp. 517-517)
    (pp. 518-521)
    (pp. 522-525)
    (pp. 526-529)
  11. [Map]
    (pp. 530-531)