David Allen Sibley

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David Allen Sibley
David sibley3184.JPG
at the 2014 National Book Festival
Born 22 October 1961
Plattsburgh, New York
Occupation author, ornithologist, illustrator
Nationality American
Subject Birds
Notable works The Sibley Guide to Birds

David Allen Sibley (born 22 October 1961, in Plattsburgh, New York) is an American ornithologist. He is the author and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds, which rival Roger Tory Peterson's as the most comprehensive guides for North American ornithological field identification.

Life and work[edit]

The son of Yale University ornithologist Fred Sibley, David Sibley began birding in childhood.[1] A largely self-taught bird illustrator, he was inspired to pursue creating his own illustrated field guide after leading tours in the 1980s and 1990s and finding that existing field guides did not generally illustrate or describe alternate or juvenile plumages of birds. He cites European wildlife artist Lars Jonsson as a great influence on his own work.[2] In 2002, he received the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association for lifetime achievement in promoting the cause of birding.[3] In 2006, he was awarded the Linnaean Society of New York's Eisenmann Medal.

Sibley is married, with two sons, and currently lives in Concord, Massachusetts.[1] He is not known to be related to ornithologist Charles Sibley, although his father studied under and worked for Charles at Yale. Charles did some genealogical research but found they could be no closer than fourth cousins.


David Allen Sibley talks about The Sibley Guide to Birds on Bookbits radio.

The following is a list of publications which Sibley has written or illustrated:


  1. ^ a b Strycker, Noah (May–June 2007). "A Birding interview with David Sibley" (PDF). Birding. 39 (3): 18–21. 
  2. ^ "David Sibley Online". Surfbirds.com. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  3. ^ American Birding Association. "ABA Award Recipients". Retrieved August 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]