Already five matchups into the first round of March Madness, we've paired up eagles, owls, hawks, falcons, accipiters and the osprey - but how can they all be raptors? While all very different, each one shares certain characteristics that define it as a bird of prey, including sharp, powerful talons, a talent for hunting and a carnivorous diet. There are many types of raptors, each with different features and habits that allow it to survive and thrive, and learning about each type can challenge birders both at home and in the field.
Learning to identify raptors, particularly in flight or at a distance, can be one of the biggest challenges birders face, but a new tool is coming to be the perfect help - The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. Today begins a blog tour (you're at one of the first stops as you're reading this) of great daily information to learn about raptors and about this new phenomenal guide about to hit bookshelves. To celebrate, Princeton University Press has released a free sample of several photo plates from the guide that are available for download, as well as samples from The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds.
From quizzes to raptor profiles to intimate looks into the world of these amazing birds, the next two weeks will feature a range of blog entries from a great team of talented bloggers. Check out the Princeton University Press blog each day for the stops on the tour - today visit with 10,000 Birds and Nemesis Bird for featured posts, including plates and a prize giveaway - and get learning about raptors!
Photo © Larry Hennessy