Win a Signed Copy of the ‘Crossley ID Guide: Raptors’

Win a Signed Copy of the ‘Crossley ID Guide: Raptors’

With a highly visual approach to birds and birding, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in raptors.

By the Audubon Editors
Published: 04/30/2013

UPDATE 5/25/2013: The contest is now closed.

We're giving away five copies of Crossley ID Guide: Raptors--each one signed by the authors, Richard Crossley, Jerry Liquori, Brian Sullivan. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below, and be sure to include a viable email address (it won't show up on the page). The official rules are below. The contest ends at midnight, Friday, May 24, 2013. In the meantime, the authors offer a description of the fantastic guide below. Good luck!

If you've ever witnessed someone's first experience of observing a perched hawk through a spotting scope, seeing an eagle snatch a fish from the water, or catching a glimpse of a hawk in his or her own yard, you know the person is simply mesmerized. What is it that is so exciting about raptors? Is it that they are skillful predators? Is it that they are big and powerful? Is it that they look menacing? Whatever it is, one thing is certain: they are attention grabbing even to non-birders, and they are a favored group among birders! This favored status is evident in the throngs of hawk watchers who visit raptor migration sites each spring and fall with an obsession and fervor unmatched in the realm of birding. During the migration seasons, it is common practice for hawk watchers to spend weekends or days off at their local watch sites, spending countless hours staring into the sky in search of raptors. They might even plan an entire vacation to coincide with the peak time for hawk migration. Being present for a "big day" is the highlight of their year, but missing the "big day" is heartbreaking. The biggest hawk flights are the stuff of legend, and to be part of one of these migration events can be the birding experience of a lifetime.

Crossley Guide - book jacket
Crossley ID Guide: Raptors by Richard Crossley, Jerry Liquori, and Brian Sullivan. Princeton University Press, 304 pages, $29.95

One aspect of hawk watching that is forever a hot topic is identification. There is a mystique about hawk identification, especially in regard to high-flying or distant raptors that are barely visible to the average person. Birders are fascinated when hawk watchers can identify these "specks" in the sky and eager to listen to experienced watchers discuss the finer points of raptor ID. At first, it seems impossible to identify birds at the limit of vision or to tell similar species apart, even up close. But with practice all aspects of hawk identification become clearer and easier to understand. Successful hawk identification relies on becoming familiar with raptors in the field and on understanding which field marks to focus on when observing a raptor in a particular situation. Each species gives a different impression or "feel," but expressing these subjective differences in words and pictures can be difficult. The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors presents birds in lifelike scenes so that the images (large and small) become imprinted on the reader, similar to the way one learns a new language by subconsciously absorbing it.

Raptors can be seen flying and perched at a range of distances, at varying perspectives, and in a number of settings. Because of these varying views, many nuances are involved in raptor identification, such as structure, flight style, plumage, habitat, and behavior, and each is equally important to learn. It is also important to know that specific aspects of ID are more reliable than others in certain instances. For example, the shape of a bird may be easier to tell than its plumage on a cloudy day or at a distance, or vice versa. It is helpful to visit migration or winter sites with concentrations of raptors in order to see a number of birds in one day, and often multiple species side by side. Seeing birds again and again is good ID practice and accelerates the learning process. Remember, it is impossible to identify every bird you see, but it's fun to try!



1) Sponsor: Audubon Magazine, an operating unit of National Audubon Society, Inc., 225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014 ("Audubon Magazine" or "Audubon"). 

2) No purchase necessary.

3) The "Crossley ID Guide Giveaway" ("Contest") is open from 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time ("ET") on May 1, 2013 through 11:59 p.m. ET on May 24, 2013;

Magazine Category


rapture ID

So in the photo I see the Northern Harriers and maybe a redshouldered- but is that a Swallow tailed kite or white tailed kite? I loved the roseate spoonbill feature. I'd like to request one on the swallow tailed kites.


After losing my 20 yrs old son, I began a garden on a 25 ft by 30 ft, barren backyard. It's been two years and a year since my 28 yr. old daughter passed...but the the garden has continued to flourish. It has become a healing garden. There is a large variety of birds that visit, cat birds, blue jays, cardinals, colorful buntings, doves, blackbirds, sometimes wild parrots, woodpeckers and sometimes hawks. Sometimes there are dove feathers left behind. There are at least ten different species of butterflies, there are dragonflies and lizards and even an occasional iguana. At night sometimes a possum visits and sometimes a raccoon. There are black snakes and glass lizards (which look like snakes).There are frogs that lay tadpoles in rain water bowls & buckets , which eat the mosquito larvae. So, if I sit out at night sometimes little tree frogs jump on my head! Special blessings to Audubon and the work they do to preserve nature, educate the masses and continue to be a resource to those of exploring the value of nature!

Brids and Books

How could you not want this book? Any one into brids would love to have it as I would.Brids just make you happy with there singing and just seeing different types and colors.
Make's my day when I leave for work and hear all the singing. Miss it in the winter.

A very unique approach to an

A very unique approach to an ID guide. Much more like true observation of hawks in their natural habitat. Given the difficulty of field ID and the complexity of plumages., phases, ages and the like for hawks, more than one (or even three) field guides are required to be in your arsenal!

Additionally, and quite unlike all the usual guides, it is a pleasure to just sit down with one of Crossley's guides and page through it - and I do mean page by every page!

Raptors are one of my favorite groups

I would be thrilled to own such a book. I have always been fascinated with raptors. Some of the biggest thrills I've had since moving to Shasta County, CA were 1) watching three (count 'em - THREE) adult bald eagles circling together over Lake Britton, and 2) seeing a bald eagle land in a cow pasture not 30 yards from me near where I live, and 3) getting to observe an osprey steal a fish dinner from an eagle, and 4) being part of an Audubon trip to Sacramento Nat'l Wildlife Refuge where we all got to learn about numerous raptors enjoying this wonderful habitat.

Thank you Audubon and supporters

The Raptor ID Guide looks amazing! I am several months into my first year learning to be a birdwatcher and every day is a new adventure. It's wonderful, but at the same time a bit depressing to know that this fascinating hobby has been flying and perching around me my whole life without my noticing. I'm having a great time, and I owe much of my learning to Audubon and its many supporters. If you are one... thank you.

Love to watch the hawks from

Love to watch the hawks from my yard, knowing there is a nest somewhere near. Hope to learn more about them.


I own the Crossley Guide to the Eastern US Birds and it is phenomenal. There is no other book so complete with multiple plumages and with photos. Drawings just never do the birds justice. The guide to Raptors would be an amazing companion book.

I'm an avid birder but

I'm an avid birder but raptors still give me fits! Having the Crossley Guide would be a great addition to my birding library.

Hawks are hard to identify

I love to watch hawks and to identify them, but they are hard to identify for me.

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