More than 100 color plates, produced by computer and inspired by photographs, will show all known plumages of the 96 species of diurnal birds of prey recorded in South America, including selected plumages of vagrants.  Variable species will have 2 or 3 plates, whereas species with only 2 or 3 known plumages will share a plate with one or two other species.  Most plumages will be shown both perched and in flight.  Special sections in some plates will highlight aging or sexing techniques, sequence of plumages (e.g., tail and wing patterns and flight shapes according to age, or sexual dimorphisms of eye color).  For species in which relative size has identification importance, plates will include 1 or 2 silhouettes (shaded gray) of commoner species that co-occur with the species in question to serve as a comparative basis to judge relative size.

Text accompanying the plates will include title of the plate (species’ names); a brief text listing field-tested field marks applicable to the whole species; brief short descriptions of individual plumages and illustrations in the plate highlighting traits relevant to color morph, race, sex, or age identification.  Additional sections will include an “Aging,” and “Similar species.” 

Most soaring raptors in South America can be grouped according to their overall underside coloration.  A series of color plates, inserted at the beginning of the plate’s section, will show flight silhouettes of soaring species grouped by overall coloration and shape.  Figures in these plates will be cross-referenced with species plates and species account page number.  These initial plates will serve as a quick guide to soaring birds.   

All plates and their captions will be conceived so they can be used separately from species accounts.

Still available - Raptors of South America Art Collection Series

The ‘Tiny Forest-Falcon’ (left) represents the still undiscovered raptor species inhabiting the vast forests of South America.  This plate belongs in the Species Accounts’ section of the book, along with an additional 9 plates of charismatic raptors -- the Raptors of South America Art Collection Series

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