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Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival

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28th Annual Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival  

May 3rd-6th, 2018


Visit our festival website here!



He knows every North American bird: by its shade, by its tilt, by its habitat, by its male, female, and juvenile plumages. It’s only natural; he’s the son of a Yale ornithologist and has been birding since his childhood in Connecticut. Sibley was only seven when he began drawing birds, filing his illustrations away along with clips about the natural history of each species.

It’s a habit he never shook. As an adult, Sibley merged that encyclopedic knowledge with his skills as a self-taught artist to become one of America’s best-known field guide authors. His first bird guide was released in 2000. With The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, a New York Times bestseller, Sibley was immediately hailed as heir to the great birder and artist Roger Tory Peterson, placing him in a long line of artist-naturalist hybrids that leads straight back to John James Audubon himself. David will be delive

Bird identification is the central challenge of birding, and we all strive to improve our skills and to identify more birds, more quickly and more accurately. Countless references and tools suggest that the birder who wants to avoid misidentifications should learn more about the fine points of plumage, molt, and subspecies, but the fact is that most mistakes involve glitches in perception. No amount of knowledge and preparation can prevent us from blurting out “Snowy Owl!” when the time is right and we see a white plastic bag on the salt-marsh. Our brains, and the very short-cuts that we use with phenomenal success to identify birds, are also the source of most misidentifications. This workshop will focus on the psychological aspects of bird identification – how we subconsciously use pattern-recognition, expectations, suggestion, and other clues – and how those methods can lead us to misidentify birds with complete confidence.

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