Identifying Hawks

Hey, Cisco the blogging HSS cat here…


Bet you didn’t know that I’m a bird watcher. (Then again, given my feline proclivities, maybe you did…) Anywho, I’m forever on the lookout for good bird books, and this time I’ve found an absolute ringer…




The kind folks at Princeton University Press sent me a copy of this book for review, and here is just one of my reviews: Buy the book. Period. (Now that was easy!)


Kidding aside, this is an absolute “must have” for anyone who has ever even briefly wondered, “What kind of hawk was that?” Here are just a few of the reasons you cannot live without this field guide…


  • The author’s approach to hawk identification is both novel and brilliant. Indeed, bird maven David Sibley said of this tome,

    Jerry Liguori’s book takes hawk identification to a whole new level.

    The reader can study migratory and location patterns, closeup and distance shots of all 20 species (the 190 pg. book contains a whopping 577 photos, 19 of which are magnificent full-page), black and white shape prints (30 to 40 per bird)… The list of ID options is just right.


  • I love the ease of this thing. If you’ve looked at other birding books, just the “How to use this book” section can tangle you up in knots; not so with this puppy. This is literally a “crack it open and you have a clue within 60 seconds” reference. I especially like the effort put forth to explain what birds can be confused, and how to sort things out.

  • There’s another feature that is long, long overdue IMHO — the use of bold font to shout out the most important points. Example:

    In glide, Cooper’s Hawks look compact, similar to Sharp-shinned Hawks, but their heads and tails extend farther, and they show longer, less squared “hands” in comparison.

    Any questions?


  • It is ruggedly bound in a 6 1/8″ by 8″ footprint and consists of clean, acid-free paper…

When all is said and done, Liguori’s “Hawks at a Distance, Identification of Migrant Raptors” is as practical and beautiful as Sibley’s “The Sibley Guide to Birds” is thorough and beautiful… If you have even the slightest interest in birds, you should own this book.


Two cats reading and blogging by the racks…


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.

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One Response to Identifying Hawks

  1. Del says:

    You hit the nail on the head…a wonderful book from the best hawk watcher in the country.

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