Tuesday, 29 April 2014

More Bird Chatter

I took a couple of photos through the living room window and here is one of them.  It captured a little group of American goldfinches and really shows just how much brighter the males are than the females.  In fact, the males become a little brighter during this time of year...breeding season. American goldfinches are part of the perching birds grouping, a large group that includes swallows, larks, sparrows and many more. I find their bright yellow feathers cheery, and I guess that explains why I love spying them through my windows.

Here is another...

I have many birding books, most given to me as gifts, but also some I've found at second-hand stores.  Here is one I found and I could tell it had never been opened...the spine still stiff and each page pristine.
It is called Birds The Art of Ornithology by Jonathan Elphick and is a beautiful little book.  It chronicles the artistry of bird art down through the ages.  I guess since our ancestors began drawing the world around them, in the beginning on cave walls, birds have interested humans.  Many of the early explorers, great artists throughout time, and fledgling painters have succeeded in rendering on paper the birds they spied around them.  I love how so many of them also contributed to the scientific knowledge of birds through their drawings.

Here is page 188 showing an exquisitely detailed drawing of a shrike's nest and eggs.  There are many illustrations of nests and eggs throughout 350+ pages, and though quite a few are of more exotic (to me) birds, they are all so beautifully drawn I'm in awe.
I've read that birding is a disease that can strike anyone, anywhere and both genders with equal intensity; according to the numbers of people involved and supporting what is a billion dollar industry these days, it is an epidemic!