Distinguishing Trumpeter and Tundra Swans

The separation of Trumpeter and Tundra Swans has been a perennial challenge. Both are obviously swans, and given decent looks they are easy to distinguish from Mute Swan, but criteria for separating Tundra Swan from Trumpeter Swan are subjective and often vague, requiring experience and/or direct comparison. Until recently there were relatively few places where …

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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!

My Pen-and-ink technique

With the publication of the revised edition of Hawks in Flight, I wanted to post a little bit about my drawing technique with pen and ink. I’ve always enjoyed black-and-white drawing. I remember being in third grade and spending hours looking at Earl Poole’s ink drawings in James Bond’s “Birds of the West Indies”. A few …

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Scarlet Tanagers are bright red – but this one is yellow

One of the great pleasures of birding is that you can run into something new and unexpected anytime, anywhere. This summer (June and July 2020) I’ve been birding around my local neighborhood in Deerfield, MA, and even though I’ve lived here for three years now, every day still brings new discoveries. A recent morning produced …

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A Cerulean-like song variant of Black-throated Blue Warbler

This recording includes one song of Cerulean Warbler and one of Black-throated Blue Warbler. Can you tell them apart? Distinguishing Black-throated Blue Warbler and Cerulean Warbler by song is usually not too difficult, even though both have buzzy songs with a more or less rising trend. The typical songs of both species are distinctive, and …

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Another update of coming events

I will be appearing at several virtual events in the next few weeks, celebrating the publication of my new book “What It’s Like to Be a Bird“. I hope you can connect with one or more of these! WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 at 7pmPittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Pittsburgh, PALink: https://pittsburghlectures.org/lectures/david-sibley/ THURSDAY, MAY 7 at 8pmMagic City Books/BookSmart …

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Updates on my new book

Ordering signed copies You can now order signed copies of “What It’s Like to Be a Bird” from my local independent bookstore, The Odyssey Bookshop. Just follow the link for information and to place an order. Events and interviews My NPR interview from Weekend Edition is now online at WGBH, along with an extended 23-minute …

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