As always, the “Just for Fun Avian ID Quiz” is brought to you by Jory Langner, our esteemed Avian Quizmaster. Jory has come up with an entertaining quiz that lets those who spend waaaay too much time looking at field guides a chance to shine.

The rules are completely different this time.  There is no need to identify any birds at all.  And the answers are given at the end of the quiz.  How easy can it get!

One of the most popular field guides in North America these days is The Sibley Field Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley.  For this quiz, we are using the “big” version, which covers both east and west.  My edition indicates Sixth Printing, September 2001.


  1. What is the first species described?
  2. What is the last species described?
  3. What bird is depicted on the front cover?
  4. What birds are depicted on the back cover?
  5. What bird is depicted on the inside front flap?
  6. On the inside back flap, there is a picture of David Sibley.  What color shirt is he wearing?
  7. Ivory-billed Woodpecker – is it described in the main body of the text or is it listed as extinct in the Introduction?
  8. The field guide has 545 pages.  On what page do sparrows begin (approximately)?
  9. The field guide has 545 pages.  What group of birds is shown in the exact middle of the book (on pages 272-273)?
  10. As he describes it “in the narrow view”, how long did David Sibley work on this guide?



0-6 correct: Beginner

7-8 correct: Intermediate

9 correct: Expert

10 correct: We don’t believe you anyway!

The answers are below.  No peeking!  Feel free to post your rating in the comments.


  1. Red-throated Loon
  2. Nutmeg Mannikin
  3. Red-tailed Hawk
  4. Western Tanager and Scarlet Tanager
  5. Elegant Trogon
  6. Blue
  7. Extinct
  8. Page 472
  9. Owls (Barn, Long-eared and Short-eared)
  10. About five years

Hope you enjoyed the quiz and remember to leave your rating in the comments.

Written by Jory
Jory's first field guide-identified bird was a Northern Cardinal. This turned out to be his gateway drug into birding. In 2007 Jory became the least accomplished birder to see 300 birds in New York State in one year. He has birded the world over but maintains his birding "beginner mind", of which he is inordinately proud. Just ask him. Jory is the 10,000 Birds Avian Quizmaster, coming up with ever more diabolical ways to stump his legion of devoted fans. He lives with his wife and the possessions of his children just outside of Albany NY.