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An Open Letter to David Sibley

January 8, 2011

Dear David Sibley,

Let me begin by saying that you’re absolutely awesome. Without you, your fabulous illustrations and your accessible, yet intelligent explanation, I wouldn’t have the first clue about what to look for in a bird. I couldn’t imagine going out birding without your Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America: you let me know what both genders of a given bird look like at various stages of their developments. I’ve even bought your calendar for the second year in a row, and it adorns my study (where  I happily stare at it for hours upon hours).

Basically, at this point, I can’t imagine my life without you. I ordered this particular calendar as soon as the clock struck midnight on January 1 of this year, because it suddenly dawned on me that my study wouldn’t feel like a space I’ve made my own without a bird calendar on the wall.

This past Thursday, the calendar arrived. It was a particularly glorious day, because I received 4 letters in the mail as well as your calendar. Imagine my horror, dear David, when I flipped through the calendar and realized that a gigantic Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) accompanies my Birthday Month (September). What could  be more disappointing than having to stare at a CANADA GOOSE for one’s entire birthday month? (Now, it has been suggested to me that perhaps I take my birthday a little too seriously, but I can’t seem to help that it’s my favorite holiday of the year and I’ve now taken to celebrating the entire month of September.) How could you do this to me?

I’ve tried to like this bird, but I can’t seem to. I find the Canada Goose unwieldy, loud, and a touch unsavory; when they fly, they look like dinosaurs barreling through the sky. Their song (or cackle) is atrocious, and their color scheme is hardly becoming. Certainly not how I envision September! I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to cope with all of this once September rolls around. Thankfully, I have nine months to prepare myself for the unsightly bird that will stare back at me for thirty days while I work. It will not be an easy time.

I wonder what possessed you to associate the Canada Goose with my Birthday Month, but perhaps that will remain a mystery — another thing I’ll just have to deal with. I look forward to buying your 2012 calendar (how could I not!) but sincerely hope that September will be graced with a more appealing member of the Avian clan.

With eternal admiration,

Birds and Words.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 9, 2011 10:09 pm

    Those illustrations look soooo beautiful. By the end of September you will love the Canada Goose as I do. They are also extremely tasty. Nice dark meat.

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