David Sibley

Obsolete Bird Names

Have you seen any Field Plovers lately? Blue Nutcrackers? Day Owls? These are all alternate common names of North American birds. Richard Banks has assembled a complete list of outdated English names of North American birds along with the current official names for those species, and it makes a great resource to find out what …

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Trees with opposite leaves

In the past, tree identification guides have emphasized the presence of opposite leaves as one of the most important field marks. In the Sibley Guide to Trees I used a more holistic approach, like modern bird identification, giving equal weight to all parts of the tree. A tree might catch your attention because of its …

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Updates to the Tree Guide

I have spent the last seven years working intensively on my new Guide to Trees, but of course a few misstatements and errors somehow managed to creep in. I’m always interested in learning more, correcting my mistakes, and passing along to you – the reader – newer, better, more accurate information. So if you notice …

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Tree Guide news

Two events related to The Sibley Guide to Trees: It is the featured product today on the Daily Grommet website. I’ll be checking in periodically, responding to comments and answering questions through noon tomorrow (Wednesday Sep 23rd). And “The Art of Identification” – a show of my artwork and field sketches at the Massachusetts Audubon …

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My latest project

After seven years of work, my new Guide to Trees goes on sale officially on September 15th (but those who live near Philadelphia can get it as early as Saturday the 12th when I’m there for book-signings). I’ll be traveling quite a bit this fall to book-signings across the US and Canada, doing a variety …

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More vocal copying by American Goldfinch, Purple Finch, and Ovenbird

After listening carefully to Pine Siskins this year to pick out the calls of other species (see my earlier post) I have run across several other mimics. In early June in Arlington, Massachusetts I heard a remarkable American Goldfinch song that incorporated several phrases of a Song Sparrow song along with Northern Flicker and I …

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