I can’t claim to be an ornithologist, but I do have a weakness for bird art. I find a bird print so much more emotionally engaging than a botanical print or a landscape. There’s something magical about the way the best artists catch a bird, especially a small and nervous bird, and hold it still long enough for you to truly examine it, while still preserving the illusion of life.
My grandmother left me two wonderful J. Gould prints, which do much to brighten a grey winter day. Here’s my favorite:
Richter after Gould, from Birds of Asia (I think – it’s a loose leaf)
And here it is in my house (never in direct sunlight, I promise – but unfortunately for this photo, in some reflected glare). It’s so strange that such a small thing can be so disproportionately pleasing to me; but then, that’s art. And birds.