“Crossley ID Guide to Britain & Ireland” Giveaway Reminder!

CrossleyB&IThere are still several days left to enter my giveaway for a copy of the brand new Crossley ID Guide to Britain & Ireland. I’ve been reading through my copy of the guide and it’s great — very helpful for learning birds from across the pond!

To enter the contest, just leave a comment in this post (or my previous one) with the name of your favorite British or Irish bird by December 19th. After a random draw, I’ll announce the winner on December 21st, a wonderful way to celebrate the solstice and bring some extra cheer to the shortest day of the year!

Good luck to everyone!

“Crossley ID Guide to Britain & Ireland” Giveaway!

CrossleyB&IOver the past few months, there’s been a lot of buzz about Richard Crossley’s and Dominic Couzen’s new ID Guide to Britain & Ireland, published by Princeton University Press. The Britain & Ireland guide follows the same principle as previous Crossley books (which I’ve written about here and here). The book features more than 300 regularly occurring species of Britain and Ireland and fabulous photographs!

There was blog tour this Autumn for the guide with some of the blogs hosting giveaways, including the Princeton University Press blog and 10,000 Birds. I was very excited a few weeks ago to learn that I had won a copy of the book from the Princeton blog’s contest, but earlier this week I received an email from Cory at 10,000 Birds saying that I had won a copy in their giveaway. (By the way, the video featuring Cory’s son is adorable.)

So, I’m holding a contest to give away a copy of the new Crossley ID Guide to Britain & Ireland. The lucky winner will receive a copy straight from Princeton University Press, in time for some great birding in the New Year.

To enter the contest, just leave a comment in this post with the name of your favorite British or Irish bird by December 19th. After a random draw, I’ll announce the winner on December 21st, a wonderful way to celebrate the solstice and bring some extra cheer to the shortest day of the year!

Good luck to everyone!

Great thanks to Cory from 10,000 Birds and Jessica from Princeton University Press for the opportunity to hold this contest.


Edited to add:

I received my copy of the guide yesterday in the mail from Princeton University Press and it looks great! I can’t wait to start learning my British and Irish birds. Thanks so much again Princeton,


Book Review: “The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors”

CrossleyRaptorsWhen I heard sometime last year that a new Crossley ID guide was coming out in April, I was very excited, and even more happy to learn that it was a Raptor ID guide. I was hoping to win The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors by Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori, and Brian Sullivan (Princeton University Press, April 2013) through the Princeton University Press contest in March, but then last month, my mom surprised me with the guide she had ordered through Amazon back in January. I’ve been able to read through the guide and it’s wonderful!

Raptor experts and co-authors Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori, and Brian Sullivan have teamed up to create a great raptor guide filled with hundreds of colour photographs and very helpful text. Jerry Liguori, who is a photographer as well, has written two previous books on hawks — Hawks from Every Angle: How to Identify Raptors in Flight (Princeton University Press, 2005) and Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors (Princeton University Press, 2011). Mr. Liguori has a great website — be sure to see his amazing photographs of raptors and other birds.

Brian Sullivan is the Project Leader for eBird, and photo editor for both the Cornell Lab’s Birds of North America Online, and for the ABA journal, North American Birds. Mr. Sullivan is also a co-author of the forthcoming Princeton Guide to North American Birds.

The raptor guide follows the same principle as previous books by Richard Crossley — that of pattern recognition or gestalt, instead of field marks.  I wrote a bit on that principle back in March in my review of Mr. Crossley’s Shorebird Guide. The raptor ID guide includes 101 color plates of all 34 species of diurnal raptors that regularly breed in Canada and the United States. And almost half of the book is filled with the species accounts and excellent range maps.

And just as in The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, the photographs are very good, and the backgrounds and the amount of information are great. Even for advanced birders, raptors can be a tricky bunch of species to identify, and there are times when one can watch a raptor at a great distance or just see a silhouette without being certain about the species. So the plates, each with a variety of the same species at different angles and ages and in varying poses, are incredibly useful.

The first part of the book (more than half) is specific species plates, with each species getting at least one two-page spread; at the end of that section, there are also some multi-species plates, for a total of 101 plates. There are also a few multiple “mystery photo images” featuring a variety of unidentified species for readers to practice with (answers are at the back of the book). The second, smaller, part of the book includes detailed species accounts and range maps.

You would think with all the colored plates that the guide would be heavier and thicker, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it’s actually quite light and portable; the weight is helped by the binding, which is paper flexibound (turtleback) instead of a heavier hardover. If you’re planning a trip and you’re specifically going to watch raptors, this guide definitely deserves a place in your backpack or bag. I highly recommend this field guide!

You can buy it from your favorite bookseller or Amazon.com.

The  American Kestrel plate is my favorite from the new guide,


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I thought I would just mention that Princeton University Press has some excellent titles on birds and nature: the Crossley guides and hawk books by Jerry Liguori mentioned above, and The Unfeathered Bird (which I just received and hope to review soon). If you are interested in some of their other books, you can find them in PUP’s “Birds and Natural History 2012” catalogue, available here as a PDF.

My New Crossley ID Guide!

On Friday, our mail box finally held had what I’d been anxiously awaiting, a parcel slip for the package from Birdcalls Radio. In town, my mother and I picked up the parcel, which I opened as soon as I got back to the truck. Attached to the front of the book, “The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds”, was a very nice note from Chris Bosak, host of Birdcalls Radio. Thank you so very much to Mr. Crossley for donating a copy of his wonderful new book, and to Chris Bosak for hosting the contest for young birders and for being willing to ship to Canada! (By the way, here is a really good interview with Mr. Bosak that just came out.)

The Crossley ID Guide is wonderful, and has beautiful photography. I am hoping the book will help me ID some of the very tricky shorebirds we get in the spring and autumn.

Our next stop in town was the library, and I showed the guide to the librarian who is interested in ordering the guide, as well as the western guide when it’s published.

The autographed page,

The cover with the very nice note from Mr. Bosak,

My favorite two-page spread,