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The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East: A Handbook of Field Identification (Poyser) Hardcover – 20 Dec 1998
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One of Birdwatch's Outstanding Bird Books for 1998
"The photos are particularly well chosen to represent different shapes, plumages, and ages. . . . It is hard to find fault with Forsman; this is a major work which will provide a benchmark for many years."--Birding
"This guide to the identification of European birds of prey has been long-awaited by raptor enthusiasts everywhere. . . . The book is as authoritative as expected from Forsman's previously published work, and is difficult to fault. . . . The quality of the plates is unfailingly high, and each has been carefully chosen to illustrate a particular identification feature. To date, there has not been such a collection of photographs available within a single book. . . . Raptor enthusiasts the world over owe Forsman a debt of gratitude for this enormous labor of love; it is destined to become a classic and an essential item of baggage, especially for anyone contemplating a stopover at any of the raptor migration hotspots in Europe or the Middle East."--E.R. Meek, Quarterly Review of Biology
"It possesses all the hallmarks of a classic work. An initial perusal indicates that a well-produced gallery of photographs and quality typesetting and design have supported the detailed keynote text. I can imagine few Western Palearctic birders with a serious general interest in field identification not wanting to own this guide."--Guy Kirwan, Birding World
"An essential buy for everyone who expects to see and hopes to identify an unfamiliar bird-of-prey within the area covered. . . . [A] magnificent achievement."--J.T.R. Sharrock, British Birds
"The principal illustrations are photographs--a wonderful collection of invaluable references. An essential book that prepares you for encounters with the birds and puts order into your field notes in a very helpful and reassuring way."--Birdwatcher's Yearbook 2000
"If you are a dedicated raptorphile, or have a special interest in European hawks, this is a book you will want to own. It is a detailed guide to the field identification of hawks, well-written and organized. The photographs are clear and sharp details show well; the high quality paper and printing helps to bring this feat off. There is a fine section in the introduction on how to identify hawks in the field."--Bird Watcher's Digest
"[A]n excellent book, recommended to 'birders' traveling to the areas covered as well as libraries, both university and public, where there is ornithological interest."--Choice
"If you take your hawk-watching seriously then this book will add to your enjoyment of a fascinating group of birds."--Charles E. Keller, Indiana Audubon Quarterly
"Apart from the excellent text, this new guide stands out by its 737 color photographs. This is certainly the best ever photographic raptor guide currently available of (one of) the foremost raptologists, which it will probably remain for many years to come."--Oscar van Rootselaar, Alula
"The most comprehensive raptor guide yet to be published. . . . This book is set to become the 'raptor-watchers' bible for a long time to come."--Steve Madge, Birdwatch
"One cannot fail to be impressed by the depth of knowledge contained in this book. The exceptionally high standard of photography and the comprehensiveness of the collection make the approach used in this book a serious rival to that of traditional handbooks which employ the work of artists."--Richard Porter, British Birds
"In all, this is most probably the ultimate guide on raptor identification in the WP for many years to come, written by what is without doubt on of the most expert authors, if not the most expert, in this field at the moment."--Jelle Scharringa, Dutch Birding
"The book should provide the impulse for a new generation of raptor biologists and sophisticated birdwatchers to go into the field and restart in-depth identification studies."--Eugene Potapov, Ibis
"A magnificent identification guide from one of Europe's leading experts. . . . [It is] a joy from cover to cover and deserves an immediate place on your shelves. Raptor lovers will want this book. It's the first comprehensive collection of photographs of European raptors showing all plumages of all species in the field. It sets a new standard in raptor watching and identification."--Bird Watching
"The wait has been well worthwhile. The depth of his research is self evident. This is the book to have, and not to lend to even your closest friend, as it would never be returned to you. Any who might grumble, that it is a rather hefty volume to handle, would do well to remember that only a donkey would complain that his sack of gold weighed too heavy."--The Falconer
"For the birdwatcher this superb new book is not only an invaluable tool in the understanding of the many pitfalls in raptor identification but it also provides a thoroughly captivating portfolio of some of the most stunning birds in the world."--Lancaster Guardian
"This book has to be on the bookshelf of every serious birdwatcher."--Essex Birding
"This guide is highly recommended for those interested in raptor field identification and those working on raptors in Europe and the Middle East. The book has a wonderful and almost complete collection of raptor photographs from Europe and the Middle East and is worth buying just for them alone."--William S. Clark, Raptor Research
Top customer reviews
If you want to get to know your raptors better and want to know exactly which kind of buzzard you're looking at then I recommend this book.
And because many raptors need several years to reach adult plumage, it can be very interesting (and fun) to find out how old a raptor is. A traditional field guide can not cover every raptor in such details because there are many other birds to describe.
If you want to be a real expert in identifying raptors, you need a specialized field guide devoted only to raptors. There are currently two such guide guide which I can highly recommend. One is the book described here by Dick Forsman, the other is by William Clark and John Schmitt (come back in one or two weeks for a review about this one). Dick Forsman's book is a huge one with many excellent color photographs of all raptors of Europe and the Middle East. The pictures are of high quality and they show every important plumage of the birds. Below every picture is a description of the important things to look at in the picture. Beside the wonderful pictures, every raptor is described by a very detailed (but easy to read) description of the field characteristics of each species.
The text gives information on length and wing-span, an identification summary for every bird and then describes in detail how to identify the bird in flight, when perched, different color morphs, bare parts like bill and feet, moult and how to age and identify the sex of the bird.
This book is the bible of European raptor identification and an absolute must have for every serious birder. If you are just about to begin bird watching, start with a "normal" field guide. But when you are able to distinguish a Common Buzzard from a White-tailed Sea Eagle, get this book. You will not regret it.
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