The following is a review of Jerry Liguori’s Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors from Princeton University Press.
“. . . almost no field mark is 100 percent exclusive to one species,” says author Jerry Liguori. Thus, Hawks at a Distance provides a great way to look at shape and form of raptors, and not just plumage.
The photographs show the birds as they would appear in the field; harder to see and in differing angles and light conditions. The images are still beautiful and clear but not up close.
The book is broken down into sections on Accipiters, Norther Harrier, Buteos, Flacons, Vultures, Osprey, Eagles, and Uncommon Migrants and Others (which includes Kites). Each section has an overview and each species also has overview text plus a large closeup photo of the bird.
Following the text are several composite images of distant photos of the species. The images have descriptive captions of what you are looking at and what to look for.
Hawks at a Distance is a great addition to my library as I am often walking on my breaks at work and without bins, see a lot of raptors.
The last section of Hawks at a Distance covers shapes. These include a Crossley-esque array of each species’ flight patterns. The black-and-white images give a quick overview of the shape and form of the bird.
Hawks at a Distance is for all birders, not just hawk aficionados. The ability to identify hawks at a distance is crucial to all bird counts and to all birding situations. The process could also be applied to study other large birds in flight and in general to improve your observational skill set.
This is our 83rd book reviewed!
Disclaimer: We received a copy of this book for free from the publisher.