I’m abandoning my coffee table book “Stupid Birds of North America”

I was helping my brother-in-law move furniture. It was a long few days because of a death in the family. Trying to lighten the mood, I started riffing on how much I hate birds, most of all the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), which should have its genus and species renamed to Branta assholis.

My riff worked. We laughed.

Fact is, birds — beau’iful plumage! — can be pretty terrible. They eat each other. They shit on themselves. The list goes on.

I thought it would be funny to write a parody of a bird watching field guide that hated birds species by species using copious photos. I still think it’s hilarious.

In order to get the photos I need, however, it’s necessary to rely on Creative Commons images. There are tons of these, which is great. The downside is, as I understand the license, if I use the images I’ll have to release my book Creative Commons as well.

I want photographers to get all the credit and monetary compensation they deserve, so I’m totally down with how Creative Commons works. But I can’t justify the time it takes to lay out each one of these pages in InDesign. I don’t mind work, per se, but I need to make money.

Rather than just shelve the project forever, I present it here for your enjoyment.

I’d intended this to be around 200 pages long, featuring two-page spreads on 100 birds.

If you’re affiliated with a publisher who’d like to see this project completed and can offer me money and help with licensing so that I can continue, I’d love to finish this.

Here is a PDF of the first 7 birds. Images below.


You can see from this list of credits why this project is a bit of a nightmare licensing-wise.

Licenses used:

Images (Name, Photographer, Title, Link to image, license):

  1. Mr. Quacks, Ray Dumas, “Black Duck,” https://www.flickr.com/photos/rtdphotography/3056956923/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0
  2. Charlie, Dick Daniels, “Female’s beak is dull green,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_duck#/media/File:American_Black_Duck_female_RWD6.jpg CC BY-SA 3.0
  3. Chadwick, Andreas Trepte, “Canada Goose,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_goose#/media/File:Kanadagans_Branta_canadensis.jpg CC BY-SA 2.5
  4. Androose, Daniel D’Auria, “Flying,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_goose#/media/File:Branta_canadensis_-near_Oceanville,_New_Jersey,_USA_-flying-8.jpg CC BY-SA 2.0
  5. Burt, Alan D. Wilson, “Blue-Winged Teal” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-winged_teal CC BY-SA 2.5
  6. Burt (Again), Dan Pancamo, “Blue-Winged Teal” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blue-winged_Teal.jpg CC BY-SA 2.0
  7. Dan the Hand, Francis C. Franklin, “Falcated duck, Anas falcata, at Martin Mere, UK” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcated_duck#/media/File:Falcated_duck_1.jpg CC BY-SA 4.0
  8. Portia, Dick Daniels, “Female falcated duck” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcated_duck#/media/File:Falcated_Duck_(Anas_falcata)_RWD3.jpg CC BY-SA 3.0
  9. Bernie Feathers, Bill Bouton, “A rare falcated duck, a “vagrant” from Asia, that arrived at CA’s Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in December 2011” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcated_duck#/media/File:Falcated_duck_(6602072861).jpg CC BY-SA 2.0
  10. Checking a US $20 used by a Falcated Duck, Scott Nazelrod, “US $20 under blacklight” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_$20_under_blacklight.jpg Public Domain
  11. Pat, Benjamin Keen, “Monteverde, Costa Rica” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_guan#/media/File:A_black_guan.jpg CC BY-SA 3.0
  12. Burke, Charlesjsharp, “Black guan (Chamaepetes unicolor), Bosque de Paz, Costa Rica” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_guan#/media/File:Black_guan_Bosque_de_Paz.JPG CC BY-SA 3.0
  13. Flippy Whipple, Kathy & sam, “A Grey-headed Chachalaca near Rancho Naturalista, Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey-headed_chachalaca#/media/File:Ortalis_cinereiceps_-near_Rancho_Naturalista,_Cordillera_de_Talamanca,_Costa_Rica-8.jpg CC BY-SA 2.0
  14. Bud & Turdwhiff, Joseph C Boone, “Gray-headed Chachalaca photo taken at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray-headed_Chachalaca.jpg CC BY-SA 3.0
  15. Durglas, Charlesjsharp, “Male great curassow (Crax rubra) on the Fortuna river, Costa Rica” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Great_curassow_male.JPG CC BY-SA 3.0
  16. Bippy, Arthur Chapman, “Great Curassow (Crax rubra) at Summit Park, Panama. Photographed on 5 April 2002” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Crax_rubra_(Great_Curassow)_-_female.jpg CC BY-SA 2.0


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