I recently used my Christmas stash of Amazon.com gift cards to purchase the new “Crossley ID Guide” which everyone is talking about. The book, just released is not your ordinary field guide. Each bird species is highlighted using multiple photos (10,000 in total) of the species in different poses, postures or actions. A much different approach to traditional guides which show a perfect specimen against a simple, pristine background.
Crossley, A Cape May birder, uses different backdrops (in the context in which you would normally see the bird.) This approach makes for a fantastic learning tool. Since my copy arrived, I have referred to it, almost daily.
The beginning sections, which talk about general bird watching guidelines, “How to be a better birder,” bird anatomy, as well as a ‘cut-out’ version of each bird featured in the book to give General Impression, Size and Shape (GISS) comparison against other birds – a great tool, indeed!
Crossley said it best in the section about “How to use this book,” when he stated “Although this book will be used for reference, the principal reason for its design is to be interactive with the reader- much like a workbook at school.”
The book is larger than the large Sibley guide, and a little clunky for the field, but makes a great “car library” companion, for sure! I highly recommend birders of any level pick up a copy today!
“Remember, the bird in front of you is your immediate reality. Watch it and you will learn it. Believe your own eyes!You will understand the bird in a way that books cannot teach you.” -Richard Crossley