Bird-World Star David Allen Sibley Releases New Guide
Long-awaited second edition of legendary bird guide adds new images and species
by Ellen Gamerman
This week, David Allen Sibley released a long-awaited update to his 2000 best seller, “The Sibley Guide to Birds,” a popular field guide that helped turn him into a birding legend.
That star status counted for exactly nothing last Sunday as Mr. Sibley stood in the snow near the Concord River in central Massachusetts making pish-pish-pish sounds to lure birds from the frozen underbrush. Eventually, a chickadee popped out, took one look at him and hopped away. As he trudged back to his car, he regretted not trying to stir up more action by imitating the shriek of a wounded mouse.
It is this unpretentious approach that has won Mr. Sibley a devoted following, helping him sell more than 1.75 million copies of his various field guides. He’s studious, even on days when he can scare up little more than a small songbird. He doesn’t try to spot 700 birds a year or master every birdcall. Instead, he aims to observe a single bird for about 15 minutes—a slow pace that would frustrate enthusiasts out to spot 100 species in a day. “If there was an Olympics of birding, I wouldn’t necessarily come out on top,” he said…
(read more: Wall Street Journal)
photo: Bob O’Connor for The Wall Street Journal