This struck me as probably true, but I didn't think all that much of it, since I don't paint all that many birds.
Then today I was over at the Wild Bird Company, buying a 12-pack of suet (I run through suet like water since I had to stop using the hot pepper stuff) and they had a rack of bird ornaments, and I found myself looking over them with delight--belted kingfisher, downy woodpecker, goldfinch, chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch--birds that I know. And I turned around and there was a rack of bird earrings, and of course I zero in instantly on the goldfinches and the woodpeckers because I know those birds.
I did not buy either, but the goldfinch earrings tempted me sorely, and if I ever wore yellow, I might have broken down.
The exception to this, I'd say, are cardinals and hummingbirds--at least ruby throated hummingbirds. Cardinals and hummingbirds have flocked with the lawn flamingo in the ranks of cliche birds, and now I don't think they register in quite the same way. I would succumb to downy woodpecker earrings, while I have passed over innumerable hummingbirds, and I have no idea how you'd breathe life into a cardinal-on-snowy-branch anymore, without giving it tiny sacrificial sickles and vestments and having it sacrificing a chickadee or something along those lines. On the other hand, I doubt we'd have such a glut of cardinals if they didn't sell, so perhaps those people know something I don't.
*I have no idea if he used these examples, but the name of the cock-of-the-rock is just too good not to type, and not just because it's faintly dirty. They're amazing looking birds, too--go google them. They look like they've got an orange wedge taped to their foreheads.