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Hawks in flight : the flight identification…

Hawks in flight : the flight identification of North American raptors (original 1988; edition 2012)

by Pete Dunne

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263477,973 (3.96)1
This guide shows how to recognize hawks the way we recognize friends at a distance: by body shape, movements, and locale.
Title:Hawks in flight : the flight identification of North American raptors
Authors:Pete Dunne
Info:Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
Collections:Your library

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Hawks in Flight: The Flight Identification of North American Migrant Raptors by Pete Dunne (1988)

  1. 00
    Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors by Jerry Liguori (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Dunne got you 80% there. This book should take care of the remaining 20% of ID challenges. It includes some real fine-tuned, esoteric field marks among the various ages/sexes of hawks.

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Showing 4 of 4
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
This is possibly the best reference on hawk identification for North America. The authors have drawn on a large number of contributors to get things correct and included. The three main authors are all top in their fields. Drawings and photos are the very best and show the birds in characteristic attitudes.

The techniques recommended by the authors for identifying hawks involves an array of inputs.
The authors mention that this holistic approach is an evolution from the Peterson era of plumage-emphasized method.

It appears that learning this superior approach will not be a quick or easy endevour but will take years of usage to apply well, but still, looks to be superior.

I have rated this reference a 4 out of five for one reason;
It is far too large to carry on each outing and far too complex to look up a questionable bird quickly. Information is mostly in the form of text, not just photos or tables that can be thumbed through quickly while the bird is in view. Granted the hawk types are on color-coded pages. Still, much important information can be conveyed mostly just by reading the text descriptions of the candidate species. Even the book's weight is too heavy to tote around. To me, this is an evening reference for the home, after arriving back from a birding trip, which may be too late to use its suggestions for differentiating somewhat similar hawks.

Perhaps this heavy reference could be used most effectively on a hawk watch as there the size and weight would not be a problem.
Probably the best method for learning the hawks is to go to a hawk watch and listen to the expert mentor's explanation of why a target bird is what it is. He or she will describe the mannerisms that identify it. Then you can open this book and read those mannerisms and ask about any that were not present or other mannerisms that looked present but do not fit the identification. This combination of mentor and reference book would be the quickest and best way to learn hawks in my mind, and this is the book to bring for that. ( )
  billsearth | Sep 27, 2014 |
A terrific guide on the finer points of IDing hawks in the wild, and in the way they're most often seen - far above head, in flight. Sometimes it's still a challenge, but this book helped me a lot in getting to know what to look for when IDing these sometimes difficult birds. ( )
  herebedragons | Feb 10, 2007 |
The book that really compiled years of hawkwatchers' sage advice and identification tips. A must read for a beginner and intermediate hawkwatcher. Once the "gestalt" is nailed down, you can move on to any of the several other more recent hawk guides. Unlike HAWKS IN FLIGHT these other books emphasize molt and plumage characteristics. That's a big help for the remaining 2% or so of other ID challenges. This book will handle the first 98%. Enjoy Pete Dunne's humor and wit. ( )
  Sandydog1 | Jan 7, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dunne, Peteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sibley, David Allenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Sutton, Claymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the Memory of
Maurice Brown
Hawk Mountain's first curator;
And to those who remember him.
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From March through May, and especially from August into the short days of December, thousands of birders and other observers clamber onto ridge tops or position themselves on lake shares and coastal concentration points to witness a ritual pageant - the migration of North America's raptors.
There is nothing magical about identifying distant, soaring birds of prey, although more than one casual passerby, observing a throng of how watchers in action, has suspected the whole business of having origins in the occult.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This guide shows how to recognize hawks the way we recognize friends at a distance: by body shape, movements, and locale.

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Book description
Hawks - probably the most popular birds among birders - are notoriously difficult to identify using hte traditional field-mark method. Hawks in Flight shows how to recognize hawks the way we often recognize our friends at a distance: by their genral body shape, the way they move, and hte places they are most likely to be seen.

PEte Dunne's clear, lively text brings to life each species' distinctive characteristics, and their visual essence is captured in David Sibley's elegant drawings and Clay Sutton's photographs.

Hawks in Flight covers the twenty-three (23) most common diurnal raptors of North America, including buteos, accipters, falcons, kites, eagles, vultures, and the osprey and harrier.

Pete Dunne author of Tales of a Low-Rent Birder is director of Natural history information of the New Jersey Audubon Society
Clay Sutton is an environmental consultant in Cape May, New Jersey
David Sibley is a noted bird artist
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