Friday, January 14, 2011

A New Guide

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I own several good bird ID guides but, like many birders, the one I use the most is "The Sibley Guide to Birds". I really only go to one of the other guides if I'm still not sure of a bird's ID after I've looked in Sibley.

I think this situation may be about to change.

I've been reading details of a new guide that's going to be published next month and I suspect that it's going to become my birding bible.

The new book is "The Crossley ID Guide - Eastern Birds" by Richard Crossley.

Crossley's guide is different from all the others because its illustrations emphasize a bird's behavior and how it looks in a variety of common poses. In other words, rather than focusing on the details of a bird's plumage etc., Crossley tries to encourage us to look at each bird's "giss" (general impression of size and shape) and behavior in order to ID it.

The way Crossley has done this is by basing his book on full-page illustrations made up of many different photographs of each species cleverly montaged into a single scene.

The two examples below show how well he has managed to manipulate his photos to produce natural-looking scenes.

 American Oystercatcher

Cooper's Hawk

I really can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!
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4 comments:

Birdwoman said...

What a great idea! I had not heard about this new guide, but now I'll be looking for it.

mkircus said...

Thanks for your post. I'll add this book to our want list for the gift shop at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.

Another very highly praised field guide is the Stokes new field guide.
It covers all the birds of the US, including rarieties and has several pictures of each species.
http://www.amazon.com/Stokes-Field-Guide-America-Guides/dp/0316010502

Elizabeth said...

Fantastic! I have such difficulty identifying raptors because they look so different depending upon the angle. This book will solve so many problems.

Jeff said...

I agree, Elizabeth. I think it will be very helpful.