Interview: David Sibley (Part 4)

Interview: David Sibley (Part 4)

10. What are the similarities, if any, between bird and tree identification?

I was actually a little surprised at all the similarities. Trees can be identified from a distance, from a moving car or train, just like birds. Binoculars and even telescopes are really helpful to identify trees from a distance or to scan a distant tree-line to see what species are there. Trees change with the seasons, and every week throughout the year they look a little different. Even though they don't move there are still lots of surprises. I still find (or maybe I should say I notice) new trees in my home town where I've been studying trees intensively for seven years now. And there are a lot of opportunities for discovering new distributional records, new field marks and new ways to identify species.

 

11. What is your most humorous birding experience?

That's a tough one. I've been on some very fun birding trips, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the most humorous, but…  Maybe the time I was leading a birding group in southern Texas, along a deserted back road late at night. I had driven the van filled with birders into the dry roadside ditch and, with the suspension creaking and groaning, diagonally up the far bank, putting the left front wheel as high as I could get it to aim the headlights at a perched Barn Owl. And after a minute or two we saw headlights approaching. I mentally prepared my explanation of what we were doing and why, but as the pickup truck stopped next to us the driver rolled down his window and said casually "Looking for owls?”

 

The End 

2010-01-20T11:47:10+00:00