In the News
In the News

David Allen Sibley, the Man for the Birds

August 3, 2020
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CBS Sunday Morning aired an episode on David Allen Sibley, Ornithologist and illustrator whose "driving force... is to make birds accessible to us – sketching and painting everything from songbirds and swallows, to penguins and puffins."

Sibley began sketching birds at only 8-years-old, and his supportive parents didn't worry for moment when their son dropped out of Cornell to pursue his passion and study birds in the field. He spent the next fourteen years driving around, sketching and studying birds. He even met his wife, a fellow ornithologist, while sketching birds. He's now completed "thousands and thousands" of bird illustrations, all making birds more accessible to the world.

Sibley has written many books, but his most recent one, What It's Like to Be a Bird, asks questions like: "Can birds smell?" "Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?" "Do robins 'hear' worms?"

In What It's Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often. This special, large-format volume is geared as much to non-birders as it is to the out-and-out obsessed, covering more than two hundred species and including more than 330 new illustrations by the author. While its focus is on familiar backyard birds--blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees--it also examines certain species that can be fairly easily observed, such as the seashore-dwelling Atlantic puffin. David Sibley's exacting artwork and wide-ranging expertise bring observed behaviors vividly to life. (For most species, the primary illustration is reproduced life-sized.)

And while the text is aimed at adults--including fascinating new scientific research on the myriad ways birds have adapted to environmental changes--it is nontechnical, making it the perfect occasion for parents and grandparents to share their love of birds with young children, who will delight in the big, full-color illustrations of birds in action. Unlike any other book he has written, What It's Like to Be a Bird is poised to bring a whole new audience to David Sibley's world of birds.

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