David Sibley on Being a Bird – A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – May 25, 2020

If you’re a bird person, as I am, you may feel as if you know today’s guest, because one of his field guides, illustrated with his artwork to help you figure out who’s who, is probably within reach at all times alongside your binoculars. In recent weeks I’ve been keeping company with David Allen Sibley’s latest book, which is not a traditional field guide at all, after my beloved local bookstore left my pre-ordered copy on their stoop out front for curbside pickup. It’s called “What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing–What Birds Are Doing, and Why,” and that was the subject of my conversation with David.

David Sibley is the author and illustrator of the series of nature guides bearing his name, and lives and birds in Massachusetts. We talked about how a bird is ingeniously built for flight (and no, I don’t mean just the obvious wings); why pigeons and chickens bob their heads when they walk; how birds seem to know a storm is coming and go into a feeding frenzy ahead of it, and many more insights.


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