Bird Fact Friday – Where do hawks migrate?

From page 7 of Hawks from Every Angle:

Hawks migrate twice a year as they travel to and from their breeding grounds. They tend to congregate in mountainous and coastal areas. Peninsula sites in particular, such as Cape May Point in New Jersey, are great places to witness raptor migration. There are more than 1,000 known hawk migration sites throughout North America, and new ones are discovered each year as raptor watching increases in popularity. The Hawk Migration Association of North America publishes spring and fall journals that are necessary for anyone interested in witnessing hawks in their natural habitat.

Hawks from Every Angle: How to Identify Raptors In Flight
Jerry Liguori

hawksIdentifying hawks in flight is a tricky business. Across North America, tens of thousands of people gather every spring and fall at more than one thousand known hawk migration sites—from New Jersey’s Cape May to California’s Golden Gate. Yet, as many discover, a standard field guide, with its emphasis on plumage, is often of little help in identifying those raptors soaring, gliding, or flapping far, far away.

Hawks from Every Angle takes hawk identification to new heights. It offers a fresh approach that literally looks at the birds from every angle, compares and contrasts deceptively similar species, and provides the pictures (and words) needed for identification in the field. Jerry Liguori pinpoints innovative, field-tested identification traits for each species from the various angles that they are seen.

Featuring 339 striking color photos on 68 color plates and 32 black & white photos, Hawks from Every Angle is unique in presenting a host of meticulously crafted pictures for each of the 19 species it covers in detail—the species most common to migration sites throughout the United States and Canada. All aspects of raptor identification are discussed, including plumage, shape, and flight style traits.

For all birders who follow hawk migration and have found themselves wondering if the raptor in the sky matches the one in the guide, Hawks from Every Angle—distilling an expert’s years of experience for the first time into a comprehensive array of truly useful photos and other pointers for each species—is quite simply a must.

Bird Fact Friday – All for one and one for all

From page 102 of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors:

Harris Hawks, distinctive raptors of the arid Southwest, are the only type of hawk to hunt cooperatively. In fact, the hunting tactics of the Harris Hawk are among the most complex and unique of any bird. Groups usually consist of a pair of dominant adults assisted by several immature or adult birds, often offspring but occasionally other nesting pairs.

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors
Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori, Brian Sullivan

The Crossley ID GuidePart of the revolutionary Crossley ID Guide series, this is the first raptor guide with lifelike scenes composed from multiple photographs—scenes that allow you to identify raptors just as the experts do. Experienced birders use the most easily observed and consistent characteristics—size, shape, behavior, probability, and general color patterns. The book’s 101 scenes—including thirty-five double-page layouts—provide a complete picture of how these features are all related. Even the effects of lighting and other real-world conditions are illustrated and explained. Detailed and succinct accounts from two of North America’s foremost raptor experts, Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan, stress the key identification features. This complete picture allows everyone from beginner to expert to understand and enjoy what he or she sees in the field. The mystique of bird identification is eliminated, allowing even novice birders to identify raptors quickly and simply.

Comprehensive and authoritative, the book covers all thirty-four of North America’s diurnal raptor species (all species except owls). Each species is featured in stunning color plates that show males and females, in a full spectrum of ages and color variants, depicted near and far, in flight and at rest, and from multiple angles, all caught in their typical habitats. 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. In addition, the book features an introduction, and thirty-four color maps accompany the plates.

Whether you are a novice or an expert, this one-of-a-kind guide will show you an entirely new way to look at these spectacular birds.

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.

Crossley’s Rough-legged Hawks

Winter is coming. (Game of Thrones anyone?) Richard Crossley is author of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors and of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland, and the supplier of this awesome plate of a rough-legged hawk.While Migration Season is starting to wind down (which is the same direction every leaf in the state appears to have gone), we’re still fascinated by some of these fierce feathered foes.

Check it out!

Rough-legged hawk

And to check out the free downloads we’re currently offering, check out the links below:
Crossley ID Guide Raptors : A sampler raptor guide in PDF format including photos and real text from the guide
Quick Finders from The Warbler Guide : A ‘quick finder’ designed to help you identify over 50 warblers faster with targeted color photos

American Kestrels In Flight

As the leaves continue to change and begin to fall, Richard Crossley, author of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, has provided as with a very cool plate of some American Kestrels, both in flight and close up. American Kestrels are aptly named, since they are the only type of kestrel that can be found in the Americas. They are also the smallest falcon to be found in North America. Plus, they’re kind of cute. Check it out!

American kestrel

And to check out the free downloads we’re currently offering, check out the links below:
Crossley ID Guide Raptors : A sampler raptor guide in PDF format including photos and real text from the guide
Quick Finders from The Warbler Guide : A ‘quick finder’ designed to help you identify over 50 warblers faster with targeted color photos

The Crossley Halloween Guide

With Halloween fast approaching, everybody is getting into the spooky spirit. Even Richard Crossley, author of The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, is contributing to the mood with this photo of some Black Vultures. Dark and searching for their next deceased meal, these beautiful creatures are equally foreboding and festive for October! Happy Halloween!

Black Vulture

Hawk Mountain Raptors

Throughout migration season, bird sightings of all kinds have been popping up, but few are as exciting as spotting a raptor. In Kempton, Pennsylvania, one has been swarmed with these feathered beauties. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association is dedicated to conserving birds of prey, acting as an observation, research and education facility. They even have a Hawk Mountain Raptor Count, which documents sightings of  falcons, vultures, hawks, and even eagles.

What this essentially means is that if you’re looking to see some amazing raptors in action, you should go to Hawk Mountain. Want to see what we mean? Check out this picture of some Sharp-shinned Hawks from The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, which shows some of these majestic creatures in action:

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Bird watching gets national TV exposure, featuring our own author, Richard Crossley

Check out Richard’s books:

The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors

The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland

Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour, Day 8

Blog tour logo

Today’s featured blogs are:


Another Bird Blog discusses the raptor species the UK and US share and gives reader yet another chance to win a copy of The Crossley ID Guide

Radley Ice describes Montana’s successful Peregrine recovery program which is bringing the peregrine falcon back from the brink of destruction.

Amy at Magnificent Frigate Bird volunteers at some wildlife rehabilitation centers and in her post, she introduces us to a few of the raptors that serve as “education ambassadors”–Darwin the Kestrel, 0511 the Red-Tailed Hawk, and others.  Plus if you leave a comment on her post, you’ll be entered to win signed copies of The Crossley ID Guides.

A Charm of Finches post went up relatively late on the 18th, so I want to re-share it here. A terrific review of the book included.

Also, don’t forget to go check out the quiz at Greg Laden’s Blog. Post your response and you’ll be entered into a drawing for 2 lbs of Birds and Beans, Scarlet Tanager coffee!


For the complete list of scheduled posts, please click here.

A Q&A with Richard Crossley

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors is literally shipping today from our warehouse to retailers all over the world. It seems like an opportune time to get Richard Crossley’s thoughts on the response so far to the Crossley ID Guide series, the decision to publish a guide to raptors, and what’s next on the horizon for this popular series. Happily, Richard took a short break from his hefty travel schedule (he was in Seattle last week, Massachusetts Audubon this week to talk about the Crossley books) to answer a few questions:


RichardPUP: The Raptors guide is the second in the popular The Crossley ID Guide series. We published the Eastern Birds in 2011. What was the response like to the Eastern Birds guide? Did anything surprise you?

Crossley: The response has been everything I hoped for. No real surprises.

PUP: You’ve been traveling a lot to talk about The Crossley ID Guide. What has the response been from birders?

Crossley: Mixed. Most love it, but some are finding old habits die hard. The Peterson system was a game changer in its day and some people have spent their whole life looking at a sideways bird on a white piece of paper with an arrow pointing at one of the bird’s features. But I’ve always thought we can do better so I challenge readers with complex scenes with multiple birds at different angles, realistic backgrounds, and no arrows. To change a lifetime habit will take time, but my book is based on an understanding of how the mind works and how we learn. Using modern technology we can make images more lifelike, complete, and understandable. For the expert who already has a wealth of knowledge, some of these things are not as vital as for the beginner, but my system is designed around how we learn everything else and it will work for almost everyone.

combo coversPUP: Why did you decide to publish the Raptors guide next?

Crossley: Because it only covers North American raptors it offers a nice contrast to The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds. Because there are fewer species to cover, we can include lots of panoramic double page spreads and each species gets several pages of coverage. While both books have the same in-focus scenes, the additional space really demonstrates the flexibility of this style of imagery and how lifelike scenes are more engaging and informative. Plus we can include lots questions and other thought-provoking things to interest the viewer. The Eastern Birds book introduced the Crossley ID Guides to the world, and the Raptors guide really shows how powerful and beautiful this system of learning can be.

PUP: The plates in the Raptors guide are phenomenal. Do you have a personal favorite? Which raptor was the most difficult to photograph?

Crossley: Thank you. There are lots of plates I really like—you would hope so since I designed them! The one I get the most feedback on is the double page American Kestrel plate—it catches the eye for most people. As a ‘designer’ it is always interesting to try and work out why something is so popular.

1 - kestrel

As for the most difficult to photograph, my stock answer is the one I wasn’t able to get. Thankfully Jerry and Brian have fantastic collections of images that made ‘Raptors’ a relatively easy project.

PUP: That brings up another question. The Eastern Birds was a single authored project. For the Raptors guide you are collaborating with co-authors Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan. What was that like?

Crossley: Jerry and Brian are two of the best. Jerry has published several highly acclaimed Raptor books and Brian is a well-known photographer and project manager for eBird. I have known both since the 1980’s—scary how time flies—so there were not a lot of surprises. They handled nearly all the writing and Crossley Books handled the visual side of things. They did a great job. They were asked “to be the bird” for the introductory section of the species accounts and these accounts may well be the highlight of the book. They really give you a fantastic sense of each species’ personality and lifestyle.

PUP: You shot the majority of the photos in the book and they are beautiful. Do you have any special tips or tricks to photograph raptors?

Crossley: Shooting Raptors is the same as for other birds. I am a big fan of travelling light and I always have my camera ready so that when the moment comes it is as simple as point and shoot. The moment often comes when you are not expecting it. The question is, “are you ready for that moment,” because you will never have it again.

PUP: Fans of the Shorebird guide will be pleasantly surprised to find you’ve included mystery plates in the Raptors guide. What was behind that decision?

Crossley: The Crossley ID Guides will always be about inspiring people to understand and relate to nature. Giving people a quick-fix answer is not the goal. The more we look, the more we learn! Questions are the key to understanding because they make us look, see, and ultimately, understand. This is how we learn. People love working out puzzles because they are fun and because they help us improve at whatever we do. The sense of accomplishment and understanding that come from figuring out the answer for ourselves is a powerful aphrodisiac for nature.

PUP: Many of the plates show birds from odd angles—above, below, behind—or in less than ideal lighting situations. Why did you choose to include these plates?


Crossley: Nature occurs at odd angles and in varying light. The goal of The Crossley ID Guide is to make the images so lifelike that when you see a bird in the field, it matches what you have seen before in the book.

Research shows us that the mind is very good at working things out. The problem comes when we don’t tell the whole story. It is important to show everyone—particularly beginners—the complete picture so they can work it out and understand what they are seeing. If you’ve only seen one image of a bird standing still, looking to the right, and painted in full color, how will this help you identify a bird flying overhead at dusk? The same goes for plumages. So-called “beginner books” often show birds in their brightest breeding plumage and the dullest nonbreeding plumage without showing them in transition between. This is a great way to confuse the reader.

PUP: Speaking of “beginners”, you’ve recently co-founded a new initiative, Pledge to Fledge. Can you tell us a bit about that and where The Crossley ID Guide and books like it fit in?

Crossley: The goal with everything I do these days is to popularize nature, the outdoors and a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately, getting more people involved in birding and nature will result in positive impacts for conservation. Pledge to Fledge is a global birding initiative for birdwatchers to introduce a friend, family member, an associate, or anyone they know to birding. Organisations are encouraged to do it on a larger scale, too. By fledging a birder, taking the ‘pledge’ on the Pledge to Fledge web site (, and sharing your stories globally through social media, birdwatchers around the world can help grow birding. We invite everyone to take part in April and August. Pledge to Fledge is an organization for us all to come together and make a difference.

The Crossley ID Guide series is part of this popularization because the books make birds and nature accessible, too. With the publication of The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland, we’re taking this message to a global audience, and while we don’t have additional plans for international guides at this time, the opportunities for places such as China are very exciting.

PUP: You’ve mentioned the Britain and Ireland guide, so that brings me to the million dollar question. What else is coming down the pike and will you publish other books on specific groups of birds?

Crossley: There are a number of books in The Crossley ID Guide series that are close to completion. A complete guide for Britain and Ireland will come out this November. That will be closely followed by a guide to Waterfowl and then a major guide to Western Birds of North America. We hope to have both of those books out in 2014 and have additional projects planned after that. Fun times but some sleep would be nice!

PUP: Last question, I promise. Who is the audience for the Raptors guide? How do you hope people will use it?

Crossley: Given the previous answers, I hope everyone will recognize it is for you. It is for people who love the beautiful outdoors. And, of course, it is for people who enjoy birds; who want to know their personalities and how they feed and behave; and who want to connect in a way that is different to other published Raptor guides. If you want to identify, age and sex birds, we believe it is the best. The mystery photos are suitable for beginners and intermediate birders. There is something for everyone.

Birding for me is a voyage of discovery that is exciting. I always wish discovery to be at the heart our books. Hopefully, this will prove to be a book that everyone enjoys for some reason, even if they didn’t expect to. Well, that is my dream…..

PUP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.


Crossley ID Guide Blog Tour, Day 6

Blog tour logo

Today’s featured blogs are: – A feature on the Northern Goshawk and a chance to win a copy of The Crossley ID Guide

Charm of Finches – A feature on raptors found in Southern Texas

Minnesota Bird Nerd – A feature on Hawk Ridge and raptor counting

Nemesis Bird posts the answer to the mystery plate quiz and announces the winner. Was it you? Thank you so much to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary for donating an outstanding prize!!

Also, in case you missed it on Friday, we announced the a November 2013 publication date for The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland. Birdwatch magazine posted some sneak peeks.


For the complete list of scheduled posts, please click here.