It was tweeted by Andy Gray of the Sports Illustrated Vault, their online archive. He said:
Once upon a time (1955), SI costs 25 cents and promoted Bird Watching on the cover. Times have changed: http://pic.twitter.com/uN8auRGA
Which is a link to this photo...
Really? First of all, I thought birding was more popular than ever, and secondly, I am wondering where the split came in here, from bird watching as a nationally revered sport to something nerdy tree huggers do (it may be improving somewhat in the last few years, but the general perception is not far from that). Is this really how birding was viewed 60 years ago, on par with Yogi Berra, and or was this an anomaly? Most of my questions were answered by browsing through some of the other SI magazines from 1955 as they featured everything including fishing, sailing and rowing, horses, dogs, diving, hunting, archery, and even how to climb the Matterhorn, apart from the expected baseball, football, tennis, and so forth.
Still, they did a wonderful job on that cover - can you identify all of the birds depicted? Here is a link to the issue in question and here is one to the key for the birds, 60 in all. Now if only they could get that sort of attention today in SI...