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The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East:
A Handbook of Field Identification
Dick Forsman

One of Birdwatch's Outstanding Bird Books for 1998

Hardcover | 1999 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780856610981


This book presents the most complete and up-to-date guide for the recognition of the diurnal raptors of Europe and the Middle East. More than 700 high quality color photographs have been specifically chosen to demonstrate the plumage of each age and sex class of every species found in Europe and the Middle East. The photographs are complemented by almost 100 line drawings focusing on particular identification details, and are backed up by a detailed text enabling birdwatchers to recognize even the most difficult species. The latest information, much of it previously unpublished, describes the plumage and soft part coloration of each category of bird, and compares and contrasts with similar plumages of species which may cause confusion. The book discusses the difficulties caused by stage of moult, variation in light conditions, and changes in silhouette arising from different flight types. Fully referenced with a list of nearly 300 key papers and articles, this book is an essential reference to the field identification of every species, age, and sex class of raptors.

Key Features:

  • The first comprehensive collection of photographs of European raptors showing all plumages of species in the field
  • Descriptions of every age class of each sex
  • More than 700 high quality color photographs and 100 line drawings
  • Valuable notes comparing difficult-to-identify species

Species List:
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus). Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus). Red Kite (Milvus milvus). Black Kite (Milvus migrans). White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeeutus albicilla). Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus). Egyptian Vulture (Neophron perenopterus). Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus). Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus). Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus). Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus). Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus). Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus). Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus). Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus). Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes). Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo). Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus). Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus). Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus). Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina). Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga). Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis). Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti). Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca). Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus). Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus). Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni). Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus). Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae). Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor). Merlin (Falco columbarius). Hobby (Falco subbuteo). Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus). Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug). Gyr Falcon (Falco rusticolus). Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). Barbary Falcon (Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides).


"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

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Formerly published by Academic Press

File created: 1/4/2017

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