David Sibley

Mew Gull is now two species! How to identify Common Gull and Short-billed Gull

For North American birders the most consequential change in the 2021 AOS Checklist supplement is the split of Mew Gull into two species – Short-billed Gull and Common Gull. For most birders this simply means changing the name of the species on your list from Mew Gull to Short-billed Gull. The North American population, common …

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We begin to say a final goodbye to the original Sibley Birds app…

This is a helpful alert to anyone still using the original Sibley Birds app, which was has not been maintained or updated since it was replaced by the Sibley Birds V2 app in 2018. Some users are reporting that the app will not open after the latest iOS update (June 2021). If you are still …

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Distinguishing subspecies of Sandhill Crane

Here’s a new illustration I’ve done as part of some work on distinguishing the two subspecies groups of Sandhill Crane. Six subspecies of Sandhill Crane are generally recognized, but for field observers it’s more practical to assign birds to two subspecies groups: Lesser and Greater. The Greater subspecies group includes five of the named subspecies, …

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Variation in Pine Siskins and the so-called “green morph”

Pine Siskins – streaky relatives of goldfinches – are so distinctive as a species that we tend to overlook their considerable individual variation. Siskins are unusual among the small finches in that males and females look nearly identical. Subtle individual differences in the amount or intensity of streaking, or in overall color, have no bearing …

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A new puzzle for 2020!

On sale 17 November 2020 from Clarkson Potter – a new Backyard Birds Jigsaw Puzzle for $19.99 A 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle featuring 49 species of familiar North American birds, with original artwork by David Sibley. A fold-out poster of the puzzle image is also included!