Article in: Book Reviews
January 17, 2013
I love watching raptors. I’ve always loved how they fly so gracefully, taking command of the wind with no apparent effort at all.
Identifying these acrobatic wonders; that’s the tricky part!
Hawks in Flight: Second Edition is a magnificent update to the first edition published over two decades ago. All diurnal raptors with established breeding populations in the United States and Canada are included in 300 plus colorful, informative pages. This means 11 species not covered in the first edition are now included.
The authors of Hawks in Flight are three big names of birding: Pete Dunne, David Sibley, and Clay Sutton. Each brings years of expertise of raptors. The photos and illustrations are stunning and provide a great learning tool for raptor identification. The text is detailed and specific yet remains readable and understandable.
The raptors are organized by type: buteos, accipiters, falcons, etc. with regional specialities removed from the family base of birds. Then, later in the book, there are chapters dedicated to southwestern buteos, Florida specialties, and regional specialties. This arrangement works well for studying more common raptors found during migration versus birding in southeastern Arizona or southern Florida.
Perhaps my favorite feature in the entire book is the “Putting it Together” section at the end of each chapter. This is a summary of the family of birds that puts everything together to get a better understanding of the types of birds. For example, the end of the Eagles and Vultures chapter has info on how to tell big black birds apart.
This is a great asset to quickly read up on types of birds without being overwhelmed.
Finally, the last chapter covers some of the other soaring birds that are not raptors.
Raptor identification can be tricky, but Hawks in Flight: Second Edition makes it easier and enjoyable.
Disclaimer: we received a copy of this book from the publisher to review on Birdfreak.com. The links are to our Amazon affiliate account.