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Bird sex in field guides

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Just something interesting I noticed the other day in comparing pictures in Sibley and Peterson field guides. Sibley has separate pictures for female birds, and uses female birds in their ID grids for the species in each grouping, while Peterson literally hides the female birds behind their male counterparts. Such a big difference in intent and focus.



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5 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

The Sibley grids make it easy to compare similar females in a family, like the ducks in your example. 

Is that a current Peterson?  Gawd, does that book look dated!

That's a 2010 Peterson Field Guide to Western North America. I think they must feel tied to the history of the guides so they try to keep a consistent feel.

Re the Sibley grids, I think it goes beyond that and makes us focus on the shape of the bird rather than the more obvious field marks, which is educational rather than just providing ID help.

I'm also slightly disappointed nobody took the bait on the thread title.

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6 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I thought about it, and in a different forum I would have unleashed the half-dozen replies that sprang to mind.  I try to behave myself here.

13 minutes ago, Bird Brain said:

Yeah, me too. Could it be we're getting old. Charlie?? 

I think this place, where people come looking for help and information, merits a more civilized approach than a opinion-based sports forum.

Look me up on Racing-Forums.com; that's where I unleash my inner 13-year-old. 


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  • 3 months later...
On 2/14/2021 at 1:25 PM, lonestranger said:

Here's a prime example of how we sometimes read things differently than they were written. 🙃

The difference between spoken and written. The emphasis may well have been obvious in speech. Ain’t English grand?! So many ways to confuse one’s readers!

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