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Raptors of Western North America: The Wheeler Guides [Hardcover]

Brian K. Wheeler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 4 2003

Raptors of Western North America--together with its companion volume, Raptors of Eastern North America--are the best and most thorough guides to North American hawks, eagles, and other raptors ever published. Abundantly illustrated with hundreds of full-color high-quality photographs, they are essential books for anyone seeking to identify these notoriously tricky-to-identify birds.

The Wheeler Guides will help birders and biologists navigate the pitfalls of raptor identification, including raptors' often extreme variation by age and sex as well as the existence of numerous "confusion" species. The plumage section discusses more plumage variations--and in greater consistency, depth, and clarity--than any previously published guide. The text--informed by years of study and consultation with local, state, provincial, and regional experts--covers all aspects of raptor biology in an easy-to-read and consistent format. It provides the most up-to-date information available on status and distribution, taking into account the recent alteration of some species' ranges due to pesticide bans and introduction programs. The range maps--which include "city" plotting--are the most accurate and largest ever produced for North American raptors.


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Review

This astoundingly detailed guide makes it possible to recognize age classes, molting patterns, subspecies and sexes of most birds of prey. Visual aids make these soaring creatures identifiable even to the birder-challenged. The guide would be considered a bit excessive except that the hundreds of stunningly crisp photos document these species like no other guide (there are 82 photos solely of red-tailed hawks!)
(David Lukas Los Angeles Times)

These two books are major contributions to the literature of North American vultures and Falconiform raptors. . . . [B]oth Wheeler books should be owned by every hawk watcher and raptor biologist.
(Donald S. Heintzelman International Hawkwatcher)

[These are] publications that go beyond the coverage of other field guides. . . . [A]n important addition to your library.
(Deb Dowdell New Jersey Audubon)

This book is both a tour de force and a labor of love, and the immediate new standard for diurnal raptors in western North America.
(C. Stuart Houston The Canadian Field Naturalist)

The new Wheeler guides are, by far, the best guides for field identification and general reference for North American raptors that I have seen. The photos are both plentiful and stunning. . . . The new Wheeler guides, like the birds they elucidate and display, are gems for us all. They are well worth having.
(Donald Sweig Audubon Naturalist News)

I highly recommend these two superb references for the serious hawkwatcher.
(Ron Pittaway Ontario Birds)

These books will be purchased (and devoured) by folks with a passion for raptors. . . . Beautifully produced and well researched references that will aid beginning and expert raptor enthusiasts alike.
(Julie A. Heath Journal of Field Orthinology)

Review

Brian Wheeler's background as a raptor artist and photographer combined with his extensive field experience provide the foundation for an excellent book. The detailed plumage descriptions of each species and sub-species, 630 newly published raptor images plus extensive range maps and migration data will appeal to the general birding community and ensure this guide becomes the reference book of raptor enthusiasts.
(Ned Harris)

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but what's with PUP? Feb. 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Brian Wheeler has created what are likely to be THE standard guides to these taxa for the foreseeable future. Excellent photos, tremendous detail--a heroic effort with incredibly helpful results.
But what is wrong at Princeton UP? First they mess up Olsen's _Gulls_ to the point that the entire edition is pulped; and now Wheeler's text in both books is marred by what you would think would be embarrassing editorial errors. Wheeler's prose, for the most part serviceable, was obviously never read by an editor, and there are entire passages that make no sense (fortunately, they only rarely include identification matters). The very first page of the author's introduction has a shameful printing error, an entire half-line left blank.
This is a great book, I own it, I use it, I recommend it every chance I get; but the editorial and production slips make me wonder if Princeton has given up on its birding program--or whether it maybe ought to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Raptors of Western North America Dec 20 2003
Format:Hardcover
Excelent could be the single word to describe this book. Brian K. Wheeler has put together the ultimate guide to raptors. The scores of color photographs are clear and precise, giving the reader great detail in showing the many variations of raptor plumage. The text that accompanies the photos is easy to read and follow, with details that give the reader confidence in improving their identification skills. Anyone that watches birds, and is especially interested in raptors, should put this book on the 'must have' list. This is a top quality guide at a great price.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!!! Jan. 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
Wheeler has outdone himself with this book. Raptors are difficult to identify on the wing and this bbok gives one the tools with which to do so. As a novice birder interested in raptors, I find this book is a great resource and invaluable!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but what's with PUP? Feb. 6 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Brian Wheeler has created what are likely to be THE standard guides to these taxa for the foreseeable future. Excellent photos, tremendous detail--a heroic effort with incredibly helpful results.
But what is wrong at Princeton UP? First they mess up Olsen's _Gulls_ to the point that the entire edition is pulped; and now Wheeler's text in both books is marred by what you would think would be embarrassing editorial errors. Wheeler's prose, for the most part serviceable, was obviously never read by an editor, and there are entire passages that make no sense (fortunately, they only rarely include identification matters). The very first page of the author's introduction has a shameful printing error, an entire half-line left blank.
This is a great book, I own it, I use it, I recommend it every chance I get; but the editorial and production slips make me wonder if Princeton has given up on its birding program--or whether it maybe ought to.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raptors of Western North America Dec 20 2003
By B Davies - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Excelent could be the single word to describe this book. Brian K. Wheeler has put together the ultimate guide to raptors. The scores of color photographs are clear and precise, giving the reader great detail in showing the many variations of raptor plumage. The text that accompanies the photos is easy to read and follow, with details that give the reader confidence in improving their identification skills. Anyone that watches birds, and is especially interested in raptors, should put this book on the 'must have' list. This is a top quality guide at a great price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the West Jan. 28 2008
By Thomas E. Gaskill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most comprehensive guide available. The species discussions include practically everything you need to know (molts, morphs, subspecies, habits, etc), and covers Western variants rarely covered in other works. The range maps by Economidy and Wheeler are the gold standard and will, it is to be hoped, encourage others to produce such extremely precise maps. It is a reference work, too large to fit in a pocket, but is indispensable. Keep this in your vehicle and Clark & Wheeler's Hawks of North America in your pocket, and you've got our western raptors covered.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review Dec 30 2010
By D. Lugo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This one of my most valuable guides on birds in my whole collection of animal books. Wheeler has illustrated a beautiful guide with hundreds of amazing photos that are close-up on the birds. This book is full of useful information such as anatomy of the raptor. There are 33 raptors that are mentioned in this single volume. Each species account goes over ages, molts, subspecies, color morphs, size, species traits, adult traits, basic (subadult) traits, juvenile traits, abnormal plumages, habitat, habits, feeding, flight, and many other useful contributing information on the bird. This book can be used in the field for hawk-watchers, naturalists, or people who love the beauty and gracefulness of raptors.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raptors Nov. 4 2007
By michael newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The text is technical and takes some work to understand but the effort pays off. The pictures are beautiful and flesh out the text. A wonderful aid to getting closer to some amazing creatures.
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