The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds


     This stunningly illustrated book from acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley revolutionizes field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification. Whether you are a beginner, expert, or anywhere in between, The Crossley ID Guide will vastly improve your ability to identify birds.

     Unlike other guides, which provide isolated individual photographs or illustrations, this is the first book to feature large, lifelike scenes for each species. These scenes–640 in all–are composed from more than 10,000 of the author’s images showing birds in a wide range of views–near and far, from different angles, in various plumages and behaviours, including flight, and in the habitat in which they live. These beautiful compositions show how a bird’s appearance changes with distance, and give equal emphasis to characteristics experts use to identify birds: size, structure and shape, behaviour, probability, and colour. This is the first book to convey all of these features visually–in a single image–and to reinforce them with accurate, concise text. Each scene provides a wealth of detailed visual information that invites and rewards careful study, but the most important identification features can be grasped instantly by anyone.

By making identification easier, more accurate, and more fun than ever before, The Crossley ID Guidewill completely redefine how its users look at birds. Essential for all birders, it also promises to make new birders of many people who have despaired of using traditional guides.

    • Revolutionary. This book changes field guide design to make you a better birder.
    • A picture says a thousand words. The most comprehensive guide: 640 stunning scenes created from 10,000 of the author’s photographs.
    • Reality birding. Lifelike in-focus scenes show birds in their habitats, from near and far, and in all plumages and behaviours.
    • Teaching and reference. The first book to accurately portray all the key identification characteristics: size, shape, behaviour, probability, and colour.
    • Practice makes perfect. An interactive learning experience to sharpen and test field identification skills.
    • Bird like the experts. The first book to simplify birding and help you understand how to bird like the best.
Last updated on May 29, 2024 1:47 am

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“Winner of the 2011 Award for Excellence in Reference Works, Association of American Publishers”

“Richard Crossley, Winner of the 2012 ABA Robert Ridgway Award for Publications in Field Ornithology, American Birding Association”

“Co-Winner of the 2012 Bronze Medal in Environment/Ecology/Nature, Independent Publisher Book Awards”

“The biggest new entry into the field is The Crossley ID Guide, which has turned the traditional field guide on its ear. Anyone who has birded regularly in Cape May, N.J., has seen Richard Crossley and his giant zoom lens stalking at dawn, dusk and in between. He has, a la Kenn Kaufman, digitally lifted the birds out of those photos and then dropped them–perched, walking, flying, diving, swimming–into a habitat that is one big photographic background, thus creating a picture window onto each species. Simultaneously we see the species up close, far away, in flight, at a feeder, in flocks, sitting, singing. Scale is up for grabs, with some of the birds so small and hidden that you don’t see them until a second or third look. But the effect is engaging, exciting and akin to the real experience of birding, where so much happens on the wing, at difficult distance and in odd light.”—Laura Jacobs, Wall Street Journal

“[Richard Crossley] tries to squeeze in as much reality as he can onto every printed page…. Why put such images in an identification guide? Crossley calls it reality birding. He believes that you can become a better birder by studying the distant birds and comparing them to the larger close-up images. By noticing the similarities between the different images, you will learn to focus on the features that remain constant for a particular species. The rationale is compelling, and I think Crossley’s approach might actually work…. And, in case you were wondering, I love [this book].”—Michael Szpir, American Scientist

“A major innovation in identification guides in that it is designed to teach you to see differently. If you follow the program, this book will make you a better birder. Following the British practice, the Crossley Guide is intended for study at home–not as a field guide. . . . This is for anyone who wants to improve his or her birding skills.”—Wayne Mones, Audubon blog

“What’s so different about the Crossley ID Guide? Everything. Crossley has designed his guide to reflect the way we see and identify birds. We identify birds by their size, shape, structure, behavior, habitat, and field marks. We [see] birds at close range, at middle and long distances, on the ground, in flight, in trees, and on the water. . . . If you want to be a better birder you will find the new Crossley ID Guide to be [a] major innovation and a valuable tool.”—Wayne Mones,

“[The Crossley ID Guide] is innovative, exciting even, in the way the reader can interact with what is in effect a real-life method to bird identification, reality birding, unlike the traditional pointed arrow, look-and-learn approach. . . . I have to say that each bird scene page contains a wealth of detailed visual information that made me look at not only the overall montage of birds, but also each of the subtly different individuals, and to even then search again through the page for more birds to look at. Just like a birding trip in fact.”—Phil Slade, Another Bird Blog

“I really can’t wait to get my eyes on this thing.”—Grant McCreary, Birder’s Library

“Richard Crossley has conceived and actually implemented a breakout idea for a general field guide to bird identification. . . . [W]hat (my old friend) Richard Crossley is doing with his idea of image, gestalt, wordlessness and recognition is mind-blowing. And it will revolutionize bird ID practice, discussions, and the scope of what each species is. Whether you have seen a bird and want to figure it out or you have been perusing his intuitive selection of what/how a bird looks and then you see it and know it too, I think you’ll find Richard’s guiding eye a game-changer for your birding endeavors.” (Hawks Aloft)

From the Back Cover

The Crossley ID Guideis an interesting, multi-dimensional, unique take on a bird guide that delivers to a high standard for a specific target audience.”–Alan Tilmouth

The Crossley ID Guide, published by Princeton University Press, is an awesome, major achievement, a stunning contribution to ornithological field identification.”–John ThaxtonAbout the Author

Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder and photographer who has been birding since age 7 and who, by age 21, had hitchhiked more than 100,000 miles chasing birds across his native Britain and Europe. His love of the outdoors and his interest in teaching, design, and technology have shaped his unique vision for the future of birding and bird books. He is excited by the prospect of using new technologies to bring “reality birding” to a wide audience through many different media. He is a spokesperson for Nikon Sports Optics and coauthor of The Shorebird Guide, and lives with his wife and two daughters in Cape May, New Jersey.

The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, Princeton University Press

Price: C $44.12
as of May 29, 2024 1:47 am
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Price History


Current Price C $44.12 May 29, 2024
Highest Price C $44.12 May 20, 2024
Lowest Price C $36.09 May 9, 2024
Since December 14, 2023

Last price changes

C $44.12 May 20, 2024
C $44.00 May 18, 2024
C $36.09 May 9, 2024
C $44.00 December 23, 2023
C $39.88 December 14, 2023

Additional information





Item Dimensions

Height: 1000, Length: 750, Weight: 375, Width: 150


Number Of Pages

Publication Date


Princeton University Press



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