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Raptors of The World
by James Ferguson-Lees & David Christie
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This fantastic book now comes in two versions; the original, large hardbacked version and the new, smaller paperback version. Both versions cover all of the world's raptor species, with the new paperback version containing 25 raptors which have been elevated to species level since the publication of the original book.

The original contains over 2000 illustrations of 313 species with adult, juvenile and many immature plumages together with the main geographical races. The illustrations also show both perched and flying birds as is vital with this group and texts are placed opposite plates giving details of length, wingspan, proportions, shape and flight pattern. In some cases line drawings outlining specific identification and behaviour points are given within the texts.

It should be mentioned that the quality of the illustrations is excellent, providing unrivalled assistance in identication of this often tricky group of birds.

Initial chapters on raptor migration, identification and breeding patterns are included at the begining, providing an excellent introduction to the main body of the book. Both versions of this book are reasonably priced in comparison to other similar publications and I consider my copy of the older version to have been well worth the price over the last few years.

The only problem with the original is that it is not practical to take into the field, but with the new version this book truly becomes a field guide providing the reference material needed to make sense of the often fleeting flyover sightings that are all too common when raptor watching. This new version has in the region of 600 fewer pages than the original so presumably some of the information has been lost, and having only had a brief look, I am unable to comment upon which sections have been ommitted or whether the text size has been reduced.

Treat yourself and get both versions - one for the field and one for home reference. This book will most certainly be extremely useful when attempting to identify the many raptor species of Thailand.

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