I came across a three week old story in the Onion that takes aim at birders, particularly the Sibley Guide. It’s an absolute riot!
Here’s a brief taste, but if you know anything about birding, you’ve got to read the rest of the article.
I don’t understand it. How could it have happened a third time? They’ve had two opportunities to correct it. But there it is, once again. The Sibley Guide To Birds, third printing, page 488: “The dark-eyed junco, a familiar visitor to wintertime bird feeders throughout much of North America, is a species of the junco genus of American finches.”
Mr. Sibley, once again, the dark-eyed junco is not a finch. Its a sparrow. A sparrow.
Apparently the 42 letters I sent Mr. Sibley, his publisher, and his literary agent either went unread or now line the nests of Carolina wrens. I’m not sure what the mans afraid of, especially since I larded these letters with all kinds of reassurances like “its a common mistake” and “I get all those seed eaters mixed up, too” and other things I didn’t really mean.
And if you’re not laughing, me thinks you need a brief primer on what the Onion is…