Project Description


A Field Guide to Little-Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America, 2nd Edition

by Ben Sill & Cathryn Sill
illustrated by John Sill

A hilarious, feather-brained field guide parody—the perfect gift for your favorite birder! From the award-winning team of Cathryn and John Sill with their son Ben.

“The funniest field guide you’ll ever buy.” ―BirdWatching Daily

“Aficionados will find themselves squawking with laughter at the ingenuity and mock-seriousness of this engaging volume by three avid birders.” ―Publishers Weekly

Birders and just about anyone who likes birds will delight in this satirical field guide from award-winning author and illustrator team Cathryn and John Sill and their son Ben.

Thirty-two fabulous fictitious species (Military Warbler? Great-toed Clapboard Pecker, anyone?) are depicted in this witty volume, which features tongue-in-cheek descriptions, observation hints, and range maps, as well as John Sill’s remarkable full-color illustrations. A must-have for any bird watcher!

Also available:
Another Field Guide to Little-Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America

Format: Paperback
Price: $11.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-728-1
Publication Date: 2/1/2013
Page Count: 112
Size: 6″ x 8″
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-372-4
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble


“The funniest field guide you’ll ever buy.” ―Birdwatching Daily

“Hilarious, but often in a subtle and subdued way. I love the irony some birds carry and the outright outlandishness others possess. This is a great book for anyone who loves birds and bird watching.” ―Kid Lit Reviews

“It’s great fun, and without it you’ll never know about some of North America’s more ‘difficult’ species, such as the Long-ranged Target Duck, Warbling Cormorant, Spoon-billed Hummingbird or Military Warbler… With the holiday season on the way, this little gem makes the perfect gift for any North American birder, or you could buy it as a small treat for yourself. Highly recommended.” ―Arizona Birder

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“So this is a parody of field guides? Yes, and it’s an elegantly written little thing, full of decorous understatement abetted by John Sill’s painterly illustrations. Should that casual glance land the browsing reader on a somewhat plausible species title, say, “Night-Flying Teeter,” it might take a beat or two before the absurdity of the information sinks in…” ―Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“A hilarious spoof on birding guides with such species as the Long-range Target Duck (with circle patterns on its belly) and the Blunt-Billed Woodpecker (native to Petrified Forest).” ―Tampa Bay Times

“Appears to be a very informative field guide. However, upon reading the descriptions beneath each bird it dawns on you that the bird they’re describing simply does not exist. For example, the Military Warbler. Really a bird that evolved as a mutant after early nuclear tests, which is commonly found on high-security military bases. Preposterous. I liked how the authors created color photos of what the described birds would look like if they were real… I found the book to be amusing.” ―4 Horsemen Series

“If you hadn’t figured it out, it’s a field guide to fake birds. Beautifully illustrated, the bulk of the book is made up of fully-fleshed invented species. Comedically, the species run the gamut from keen birding observations to plumage jokes to straight-up, satisfying puns. It’s tempting to skim through and laugh at the illustrations, but the book rewards cover-to-cover reading. Good riffs on field guide self-seriousness and biologic mumbo-jumbo are there for the taking. Buy this book and give it to a birder friend of yours, they’ll recognize it as the work of kindred spirits.” ―The Birdist

“It went into so much detail and there was obviously a lot of thought put into each species, especially when you consider these don’t actually exist. Each species had a full page of information that went along with beautiful illustrations of non-existent birds. It is the perfect book for birders and ornithologists who could just use a laugh.” ―Broken Arrow Books

“This book’s layout is just like you’d expect from a field guide to birds, even a satirical one… Some of the listings are so matter-of-fact sounding, they read like they could actually be about real birds (the Giant-Billed Snapper), and some are just absurd (the Auger-Billed Clamsucker). As somewhat of a bird enthusiast, I really appreciated the details the authors put into every listing – even laughing out loud at some of them.” ―The Revolving Bookcase

“Experienced birders…will be laughing out loud at some of the parodies of the real-world problems of identifying a bird in the field… Clever and creative, a perfect book for bird watchers or anyone who enjoys our feathered friends.” ―Under My Apple Tree


Meet the Author

Cathryn Sill, a graduate of Western Carolina University, was an elementary school teacher for thirty years. She lives in North Carolina.

Meet the Author

Ben Sill lives in South Carolina, where he is a professor of civil engineering at Clemson University.

Meet the Illustrator

John Sill holds a BS in wildlife biology from North Carolina State University. Combining his knowledge of wildlife and artistic skill, John has achieved an impressive reputation as a wildlife artist and received several awards. He lives in North Carolina. You can visit his website here.