BCR 105: Richard Crossley


Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer and award winning author of ‘The Crossley ID Guide’ series. Crazy, wildly passionate, and driven are just a few of the words used to describe his love of birding and nature.

Born in Yorkshire, Richard first visited the USA as a 21 year old. He quickly fell in love with Cape May and its incredible bird migrations, and moved there for good shortly afterwards. After 20 years of hiding in the business world and raising his family (with wife Debra, Sophie, Sam’ and a dog – all blondes,) Richard co-authored the successful The Shorebird Guide. He quickly became obsessed with the newfound opportunities provided by digital technology and book design. The Crossley ID Guide series was created.

The Crossley ID Guides provide a new perspective on how we look at books and nature. Different from any book previously published, it makes the reader pay attention to shapes, patterns, behavior, and other details presented in this type of artwork. It pushes the reader to think about what they are seeing. Recognized with multiple awards, this series has created a movement for other wildlife guides to paint by pixels, and depict habitat, behavior, and wildlife in a more lifelike manner. These are books for anyone who loves nature.

Richard is also co-founder of the global birding initiative Pledge to Fledge, Race4Birds and The Cape May Young Birders Club. He served on the board of directors at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.

Show Notes:

  • I’m struck by the some of the almost whimsical elements in your plates. The moose skedaddling out in the pond in Anchorage Alaska was noteworthy; these items are like presents for the observers who closely examines each one. 
  • The mystery bird plates are particularly interesting and challenging at the same time. 
  • Is your audience the same in this Crossley ID Waterfowl book as in the last 3 books in this series?
  • This book was is self-published by Crossley Books. Why did you choose this route?
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada has been given the distribution rights for Canada , why? What do they do right and what is missing?
  • The preface is revealing in that this book is deliberately designed to appeal to all who appreciate the natural world. Further it seeks to unite with a common vocabulary, these disparate groups, each with different focus, but who share common interests.
  • Please elaborate on the unique focus of this guide. You say that we are all on the same team. It aims to bring hunters, birders, city park watchers, and everyone else to see each other as one. It’s a celebration of waterfowl and the outdoors presented in a lifelike format so that everyone can relate to, and understand, it.
  • You call yourself and others who are interested in birds and waterfowl in particular hunters. How do you see this guide uniting the various parties?
  • One focus of this guide is on the food needed by waterfowl, and that this emphasis on food needs rather than habitat is a more enlightened perspective. Please help clarify the issue of habitat verse food as conservation concept.
  • There are elements (sections) in this work that are not typical of field guides such as wing cut outs, how to make a nest box, and guidance on saving waterfowl and wetlands. 
  •  RSPB and having ear of the Prime Minster of England. 

Mentioned in the Episode:

Crossley ID Guide Series Website

BirdCallsRadio additional information:

Book Review:  Reactions To The Crossley ID Guide! Eastern Birds. First book in this series.

To Support BirdCalllsRadio & Podcast DONATE NOW

BirdCallsRadio ON THE GO! Subscribe & listen to our podcast for Mac users at Apple Podcasts, PC users at Stitcher, on any device automatically so you won’t miss an episode; and please leave us a rating and review if you would be so kind! We appreciate it!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter and be part of something greater. and stay up to date on all our episodes and exclusive offers by clicking here on BirdCallsRadio and scrolling to the bottom of the front page to sign up with your email. All emails are confidential.


  1. Diane Louie on October 27, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Wonderful episode and new book. The next best thing to hearing Richard in person. Thanks Mardi for sharing his message and passion about birds and conservation to the community.

    • BirdCallsRadio - Host, Mardi Dickinson on October 27, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you Diane for your kind words. Not only are Richard’s books educational but his plates are like a treasure hunt for all to dive into head first to learn from. I completely got it from his first book of what he was trying to do, and the bigger message on his fouth book about waterfowl & conservation as one. Cheers, Mardi

  2. Dave Magpiong on October 28, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    The Crossley ID Guides are important and unique among bird guides. His plates tell a story that pull the audience in and compel their interest. This is especially true of children, which is why I have the Eastern, Raptors, and now waterfowl guides in my classroom.

    Richard also shared some very interesting insights into some problems in the birding and conservation communities. If only people would heed this message.

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
error: All Content is protected !!