Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 49:81-82; 2017


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Whether a raptor is cryptically perched in the shadows or is viewed only as a silhouette soaring in the clouds below the glaring midday sun, raptor identification can be challenging. If you are observing raptors in the North Temperate Zone, several guides (e.g., Clark and Wheeler 2001 Dunne et al.2012) will aid you with such identifications, but few resources exist for visitors south of this zone. So, if you are interested in identifying the 69 species of diurnal raptors found in Mexico and Central America, the recently released Raptors of Mexico and Central America by William S. Clark and N. John Schmitt is certainly a book you should add to your library. Although this book is referred to as a field guide, the book’s size (18×25.5-cm; 1.5 kg) will likely preclude you from stashing it in your backpack and taking it into the field, unless you are one of the most devoted of ‘raptorphiles.’ Nonetheless, this guide certainly is a resource you will want to keep in your car or back at your office, hotel room, or home. With 32 color plates and hundreds of color photographs, Raptors of Mexico and Central America is the singular best source for identifying the region’s raptors, especially considering the variations in plumage of individuals, morphs, ages, and regions.