David Allen Sibley

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.

David Allen Sibley
at the 2014 National Book Festival
at the 2014 National Book Festival
Born22 October 1961
Plattsburgh, New York
Occupationauthor, ornithologist, illustrator
Notable worksThe Sibley Guide to Birds

Life and work

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 Trees on Bookbits radio.

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

  • The Birds of Cape May
  • Sibley's Birding Basics
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds
  • The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior
  • The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
  • The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America
  • Hawks in Flight
  • The Sibley Guide to Trees
  • Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds, edited by Billy Collins


  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 July 8, 2008.
  3. ^ American Birding Association. "ABA Award Recipients". Retrieved January 25, 2018.

External links


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