A Field Guide to Little-Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America

Ben Sill, Author, Cathryn P. Sill, Joint Author, John Sill, Illustrator Peachtree Publishers $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-934601-58-0
Aficionados will find themselves squawking with laughter at the ingenuity and mock-seriousness of this engaging volume by three avid birders. Consider the Sills' commitment to jargon-free birding terminology: in their guide, ``ill tempered,'' ``nocturnal migration,'' ``feed actively'' and ``flock'' become ``fowl behavior,'' ``fly by night,'' ``pig out'' and ``whole bunch.'' The 32 fanciful species described, complete with superb, realistic color drawings that reflect John Sill's considerable skill as a wildlife illustrator, range from the droll to the hilarious: Skia, or Sasquatch Yeti, recognized by their big, ski-type feet; Least Minitwit, or Awfulii Smallus Jr.a sampling of this ``itsy bitsy'' creature is obtained by covering a flyswatter with foam rubber ``since squished birds cannot be legitimately added to a life list.'' The authors sustain their tongue-in-cheek approach through mock-scholarly apparatus: a bibliography (``Field Guide to Guano,'' by Fir T. Lizer) and authentic-looking graphs that correlate new species to UFO sightings, volcanic eruptions, night baseball games and the national debt. (October)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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