Spring: The Season of Birds

As the countdown to the thaw of spring begins, over 200 species of birds are gearing up for their annual, epic journey. Some will clock 10,000 miles on their way back to the United States and Canada from the balmy climates of regions further south. Although birds are on the move nearly every day, this period of Neotropical migration is the most predictable time for movement, and volunteer birders across the country will take to the outdoors to count the traveling birds. In preparation for the return of these raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds, Princeton University Press brings you four essential birding guides.

crossley guides In both The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds and The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, acclaimed photographer and birder Richard Crossley has introduced a new way to not only look at birds, but to truly see them. With a highly visual approach which emphasizes shape, size, and habitat through carefully designed scenes in which multiple birds of different sexes, ages, and plumages interact with realistic habitats, the birder can better grasp the characteristics of each species. Unlike other guides which provide isolated individual photographs or illustrations, these books feature large, lifelike scenes for each species, in order to bring a more practical approach to bird identification. There are also comparative, multispecies scenes and mystery photographs that allow readers to test their identification skills, along with answers and full explanations in the back of the book. Begin reading the Introduction of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds and the Introduction of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors now.

warbler guideWith the hope of aiding birders in identifying one of the trickiest species, Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle have created The Warbler Guide, in which the two experts offer a comprehensive look at the 56 species of warblers found in the U.S. and Canada. This groundbreaking guide features more than 1,000 stunning color photos, extensive species accounts with multiple viewing angles, and an entirely new system of vocalization analysis that helps you distinguish songs and calls.  As Robert Mortensen of Birding is Fun puts it, “The Warbler Bible has come forth! This is easily the most comprehensive and fantastic warbler specific guide covering North American Warblers. I am amazed and impressed with each of its features. . . . [A] must-have book.” 

nests, eggs, etcIn the tide of the bird’s natural mating cycle, there’s no book more relevant than Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds, Second Edition by Paul J. Baicich & J.O. Harrison. This guide provides a thorough, species-by-species look at the breeding biology of some 670 species of birds in North America. With complete basic information on the breeding cycle of each species, from nest habitat to incubation to nestling period, this book covers perhaps the most fascinating aspects of North American bird life, their reproduction and the care of their young, which are essential elements in the survival of any species.

There’s no better time to gain an understanding of your region’s birds than during this critical spring migration period.  Check out any and all of these informative books today!

More chances to win bird ebooks!

Win 6 Great Bird Ebooks from Princeton University Press

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To celebrate the availability of Princeton University Press’s bird books through the iBooks store, we are hosting a sweepstakes giveaway of all 6 titles. See below for several ways to enter or send an email to blog@press.princeton.edu.

The prize will be 6 promo codes that allow the winner to download complimentary copies of The Crossley ID Guide, The Warbler Guide, The World’s Rarest Birds, Hawks at a Distance, The Birds of Peru, and The Unfeathered Bird. This prize can only be used through the iBooks store and to view these books, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 3 or later and iOS 4.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later. There is no device or tablet included in this giveaway.

The giveaway will run from 12:15 AM EST, Monday, February 3 through 12:00 PM EST, Friday, February 7.

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Digital copies of our top-selling bird books now available on iBooks

Click here to learn how to win copies of all 6 books

Giveaway ends February 7, 2014.

One of the questions we field most often is, “Why can’t I buy an electronic version of this bird book?” So we are delighted to announce that starting this month, several of our most popular birding and natural history titles are now available as ebooks through the iBooks store.

The books are affordable and look simply amazing in digital form — zoom in on Katrina Van Grouw’s intricate drawings of skeletons in The Unfeathered Bird, explore The Crossley ID Guide‘s layered plates in greater detail, or simply revel in the majestic photos and artwork in The World’s Rarest Birds.

To view sample pages and explore these titles further, please use these links:

Birds of Peru
This is easily one of our all-time best-selling field guides and this ebook features all of the same great information and illustrations as the print edition, but makes it more portable and easier to search.
The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds
This has always been a book screaming for a digital edition. To say the plates in this book look incredible on a tablet would be a massive understatement– they are absolutely jaw-dropping beautiful.
The Warbler Guide
The complete text, photos, and sonograms at your fingertips in time for spring migration. Keep the print copy at home for reference and take this digital book into the field.
The Unfeathered Bird
Zooming in on the drawings reveals new details about structure, function, and evolution.
Hawks at a Distance
Even more useful now that you can zoom in and examine the profile and silhouette of the birds.
The World’s Rarest Birds
Not only do the photos and illustrations look incredible, but built-in search functions mean it is easier to find the information you want.

Birdwalk Grouse Fights, AKA The Blinding of Richard Crossley

Not really, but check out this astounding video of Richard getting roughed up by a Ruffed Grouse.

Here’s what this beauty of a bird looks like in The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds. Seeing the plate side by side with the video really demonstrates the strength of the Crossley style plate in illustrating the way a bird looks and how it acts:

3 ruffed_grouse_master3

Use The Crossley ID Guide in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

The RSPB is running their annual Big Garden Birdwatch this month. If you are participating in this citizen science event, you might find The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland useful to verify your identifications or prep for a walk. We welcome you to download this free ebook — Common Garden Birds of Britain and Ireland [PDF]. You can store it on your handheld devices or computers. The print edition, featuring more than 300 species is also available in bookstores now.

 

Blackbird Blue Tit Brambling
Chaffinch Coal Tit Dunnock
Eurasian Collared Dove Goldfinch Great-spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit Greenfinch Long-tailed Tit
Nuthatch Robin Song Thrush
Woodpigeon

Celebrate the Rufous Hummingbird, ABA’s 2014 Bird of the Year

The American Birding Association just announced its 2014 Bird of the Year will be the Rufous Hummingbird. Check out their announcement below (what a fun video featuring Neil Hayward who has just completed a new record Big Year & Jay Lehman, as well as a cameo by Liz Gordon) and a list of Princeton University Press resources to help you further find and appreciate this beautiful species.

First up, check out the rufous hummingbird entry from Birds of Western North America: A Photographic Guide by Paul Sterry and Brian E. Small.

hummingbirds

 Click here to read a text/html version of the image.

Perfect your rufous hummingbird ID skills with this plate, courtesy of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds:

Rufous H

Then gather some of our outstanding bird books to round-out your knowledge:

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Hummingbirds of North America
The Photographic Guide
Steve Howell

“The Photographic Guide. . . unites scholarship with unity, and it is outstanding for its photo art, which is both useful and an aesthetic triumph.”–Birding

  • Contains up to 14 full-color photos for each species, with detailed photo captions
  • Detailed introduction covers fundamentals of hummingbird identification, including discussions of anatomy, plumage variation, and molt
  • Comprehensive species accounts describe all plumages, compare similar species in depth, and discuss voice, displays, behavior, geographic range, and seasonal distribution
  • Emphasizes difficult to identify plumages, such as females and immatures
  • Features 200 stunning photos picked specifically to show identification criteria

 

bookjacket

Birds of North America and Greenland
Norman Arlott

Sample the hummingbird spread

“If you have one or more of those oversized guides to North American birds and want something to carry into the field with you, this would be a good addition to your library.”–Dan R. Kunkle, Wildlife Activist

  • Covers more than 900 bird species found in the Nearctic region
  • Features 102 stunning color plates that depict every species
  • Includes concise species accounts and color distribution maps
  • Succinct, compact, and easy to use
bookjacket

The Crossley ID Guide
Eastern Birds
Richard Crossley

“[Crossley] has, a la Kenn Kaufman, digitally lifted the birds out of those photos and then dropped them–perched, walking, flying, diving, swimming–into a habitat that is one big photographic background, thus creating a picture window onto each species. Simultaneously we see the species up close, far away, in flight, at a feeder, in flocks, sitting, singing. Scale is up for grabs, with some of the birds so small and hidden that you don’t see them until a second or third look. But the effect is engaging, exciting and akin to the real experience of birding, where so much happens on the wing, at difficult distance and in odd light.”–Laura Jacobs, Wall Street Journal

  • Revolutionary. This book changes field guide design to make you a better birder
  • A picture says a thousand words. The most comprehensive guide: 640 stunning scenes created from 10,000 of the author’s photographs
  • Reality birding. Lifelike in-focus scenes show birds in their habitats, from near and far, and in all plumages and behaviors
  • Teaching and reference. The first book to accurately portray all the key identification characteristics: size, shape, behavior, probability, and color
  • Practice makes perfect. An interactive learning experience to sharpen and test field identification skills
  • Bird like the experts. The first book to simplify birding and help you understand how to bird like the best
  • An interactive website–www.crossleybirds.com–includes expanded captions for the plates and species updates
bookjacket

Birds of Western North America
A Photographic Guide
Paul Sterry & Brian E. Small

“Brian Small and co-author Paul Sterry have taken the photo-based field guide to a new level. Their new books are beautifully designed and well written. Photos are tack-sharp, and tightly cropped, giving close-up views of each bird.”–Matt Mendenhall, Birder’s World

  • The best, most lavishly illustrated photographic guide to the region’s birds
  • Larger color photos than most other field guides
  • Fresh contemporary design–clear, easy-to-use, and attractive
  • Informative, accessible, and authoritative text
  • Range maps from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
  • Covers entire western half of mainland North America (excluding Mexico) and the arctic and subarctic territorial islands of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Hawaii)

The Crossley Bird ID Contest: The Results!

We’re delighted–or rather, happy as a lark–to announce that we’ve drawn the lucky winner of the Crossley Bird ID Contest, featured in BBC Wildlife Magazine, December 2013 issue. Thank you to BBC Wildlife and to all of the keen birders who flocked to submit their entries for a chance to win a copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland by Richard Crossley & Dominic Couzens.

Could you tell a Bullfinch from a Chaffinch? Are you able to spot a Starling? The answers are below!

BBC Wildlife
The winner is picked from the Princeton bag!

Jenny pecks the winner out of a bag

Draw 2

Jenny chirps with delight as the winner is selected

Congratulations to Clare Adams from Nottingham who correctly identified all of the featured birds. A copy is “winging” its way to you now!

And here is the answer key. How many did you get right?

#1 Coal Tits
#2 Great Spotted Woodpecker
#3 Great Tit
#4 Common Buzzard
#5 Wood Pigeon
#6 Robin
#7 Great Tit
#8 Song Thrush
#9 Chaffinch
#10 Goldfinch
#11 Chaffinch
#12 Bullfinch
#13 Pied Wagtail
#14 Starling

Bird ID Contest — Win a copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain & Ireland

Crossley ID bird contest
Correctly identify each numbered bird for a chance to win a copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland.

[This will open a pop up quiz that will collect your answers and contact information]


One winner, drawn at random, will receive a copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland. Participants must be at least 18 years old to enter. Only one entry per person. All entries must be received by January 1, 2014.

A PDF of the contest entry form can be downloaded here: http://blog.press.princeton.edu/wp-content/uploads/PR/crossleycontest.pdf and submitted by email to princeton_publicity@pupress.co.uk or fax to +44 1 993 814504.

 

The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland gets a field test at Birding Ecosse

Birding Ecosse has a terrific article about the usefulness of The Crossley ID Guides in the field. In spite of birders’ best efforts (calls, silent stalking, binoculars and scopes), this is what they are likely to see in the field when they go looking for scoters. And a quick side-by-side comparison shows how The Crossley ID Guide really does represent these real life fuzzy, distant views.

 

scoter equal Scoters-double-page-300x231

The post at Birding Ecosse is part of the blog tour to celebrate the publication of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland. For a complete schedule of the tour, please click here.

Enter to win an autographed copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland

We are celebrating the publication of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland by giving away 5 autographed copies of the book. There are multiple ways to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway runs from October 31 to November 22. Winners will be notified within 48 hours of the giveaway closing.

The first option, Click for your Daily Entry, does not require you to do anything other than supply your name and email address (no like-ing on social media, etc).

Check out the blog tour running from November 4 – 15: http://blog.press.princeton.edu/crossley-uk-blog-tour-schedule/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have questions about this giveaway, please email us.

Crossley Britain and Ireland Blog Tour Kicks off on Monday! Here’s the complete schedule.

Crossley GB&Ire blog tour logo 250px (srgb)We are, once again, partnering with a stellar group of bloggers to celebrate the launch of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland. The complete schedule of articles is below. Please support our partners by visiting their sites and reading their articles. You may also enjoy this free ebook assembled by Richard Crossley on The Common Garden Birds of Britain and Ireland.

Monday, November 4

Fair Isle (http://fair-isle.blogspot.co.uk/) - Blue and Great Tits – not common up here on Fair Isle

Tuesday, November 5

Birding Ecosse (http://birdingecosse.co.uk/birding-ecosse-blog/) - Scoters and Long-tailed ducks

Wednesday, November 6

Birding Frontiers (http://birdingfrontiers.com/) – Seabirds of Flamborough

Thursday, November 7

Another Bird Blog (http://anotherbirdblog.blogspot.co.uk/) - Wildfowl and waders of the N-W

Friday, November 8

The Biggest Twitch (http://www.thebiggesttwitch.com/diary) - Some classic Welsh birds: Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Wood Warbler, Black Grouse and Chough

Saturday, November 9

10,000 Birds (http://10000birds.com/category/birds) - British and Irish avian visitors in the USA (with an opportunity to win a book!)

Sunday, November 10

Mark Avery (http://markavery.info/blog/) - Pipit ID-ing and THE LINNET

Monday, November 11

Ireland’s Wildlife (http://www.irelandswildlife.com/wild-blog/) - The Birdwatch Ireland Garden Bird Survey: how you can help monitor Ireland’s garden birds

Tuesday, November 12

Bird Words (http://www.birdwords.co.uk/) – Gull ID-ing

Wednesday, November 13

The Drunk Birder (http://thedrunkbirder.wordpress.com/) - Winter thrushes

Thursday, November 14

Derek BirdBrain (http://derekbirdbrain.blogspot.co.uk/) - Using the ID Guide in the field

Friday, November 15

The Urban Birder (http://urbanitybirder.blogspot.co.uk/) - Ring Ouzel

RSPB Nature’s Home (http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/natureshomemagazine/default.aspx) – Wild Geese

Thursday, November 21

19.00-20.00 GMT, Shindig event – this is a live internet video chat presentation to which all are invited (the capacity is limitless!). Dominic and Richard will discuss the book and take questions from the audience. Details and RSVP: http://shindig.com/event/crossley-id-guide

 

[Now closed] Princeton University Press is also giving away 5 autographed copies of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland. Enter to win here. [Now closed]