My Take on The Crossley ID Guide

Can I just say I flat-out love this book? Far too heavy to carry in the field in my opinion, but oh what value this book has to birders of all skill levels.
In the very front of the book little bird pictures representing each bird family type gives you a real close look on SIZE, one of the critical elements in bird identification. I LOVE this. The extremely informative introduction is worth digging into. It tells you how to use the book, how to be a better birder by sharing ways of improving your skills, and where to focus your learning. The Bird topography section covers the various types of birds and their individual and collective layout.

I also really enjoy the way the book is laid out. Waterbirds are divided into three categories;
Swimming, Flying and Walking.

Landbirds are divided into:
Upland Gamebirds, Raptors, Miscellaneous Larger Landbirds, Aerial Landbirds and Songbirds.

Something unique to any of the field guides I know is a section on decoding the “four letter words” or Alpha Codes that can be used to record birds. A complete list is in the back. Sweet!

Hmm. Let’s see am I forgetting something?? Oh Yeah! The plates! Wowee Zowee, I have spent far too much time gazing at the plates for each bird. Absolutely fantastic. I love how Richard has blended the different plumage types, distances from the birds, size of the birds and also the habitat. This really gives you an idea where you might find them! Just studying this book is going to give any birder a leg up on bird ID in the field.

Over 10,000 something pictures were used in this book. You get views up close, in flight, silhouette, distance, in habitat. Odd bits views that are typical of what we see in the field.

I’m impressed, Richard, when’s the Western Version coming out??

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