100 posts tagged Birds
100 posts tagged Birds
The speckled egg in this hypnotic gif is demonstrating an amazing evolutionary advancement. It’s a strangely pointy egg and it belongs to a Common Murre or Guillemot, a seabird that congregates in large colonies on rocky cliff shores and does not make nests. Instead the birds lay their eggs directly on bare rock ledges. And that’s one of the reasons their eggs have evolved such an unusual shape - so that when they roll, instead of rolling away from their parents and into the sea, they roll in a tight little circle. It’s further proof that nature is awesome.
Head over to io9 to learn more about Guillemots and their wonderfully unusual eggs.
The year is 2014. Where is the future we were promised? Where are our jet packs and flying cats? According to these 16th century German illustrations, it appears that we’ve been pining for jet packs far longer than we ever imagined. All the way back in the 1530s people were daydreaming about birds and cats zooming through the air.
Okay fine, not really. These centuries-old illustrations actually depict a German artillery master’s harebrained scheme for using animals as ballistic explosives (click here to learn more). However Mitch Fraas, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries researcher who compiled these images, doesn’t think anyone ever actually tried to implement this bizarre military tactic.
Sinister history aside, we enjoy these illustrations a lot more if we think of them as renaissance kitties whizzing about in pursuit of mice and bowls of cream.
You know what’s awesome? The simultaneously thrilling and terrifying sight of the impossibly massive talons belonging to a mighty Harpy Eagle. This humbling photo was recently shared by Redditor louiebaur. To get an even better sense of just how big these talons are, click here for a comparison image.
And remember, it’s not just the length and sharpness of those talons that are fearsome, the strength of the eagle’s grip is enough to break arm bones or crush a hand. So yes, that’s a lot of avian awesomeness in one photo. Let’s hope that whoever is touching those talons with their fragile human fingers is awfully good friends with that particular eagle.
This awesome Gif-fiti mural is the work of Cheko, a street artist based in Granada, Spain. Follow him here on Tumblr to check out more of his beautiful artwork, created both on the street and indoors.
Have you ever wondered what the world looks like to a bird soaring high above us? This awesome video is your chance to find out.
A YouTube user named Srachi mounted a GoPro camera on the back of an eagle. The footage was recorded as the magnificent bird flew over a stunning mountain range in Chamonix, France.
It’s been a while since we last checked in on the playful artwork of Roadsworth (previously featured here). The Montreal-based street artist continues to create clever large-scale pieces that turn city streets into an urban wonderland. Flocks of geese migrate in v-formation down the middle of a street while a school of sardines swims into a net and then turns up packed into a can at two crosswalks. The dividing lines of a parking lot are the stems from which saplings sprout as giant flowers grow up out of the gutter.
"This year marks a decade since Roadsworth was charged with 53 counts of public mischief, after which he received considerable public support and was let go with a slap on the wrist. Since then the artist has created artwork for municipalities, exhibitions, and arts festivals around the world."
Visit Roadworth’s website to check out more of his awesome street art.
Animator Jim Le Fevre, Mike Paterson and Roops and Al Johnstone (of RAMP Ceramics) teamed up to create a wonderful work of phonotropic animation, which can be seen in this short video entitled “Experimental animation meets pottery”, commissioned by the Crafts Council.
The design of the Phonotrope was inspired the 19th century zoetrope, but instead uses a record player and a camera to animate images. In this case those images were painstakingly painted on a beautiful piece of pottery that was then spun on a potter’s wheel in front of a camera:
"The film is based upon the principles of the Zoetrope - the difference being that instead of the slits that one would have in the drum around the side of the Zoetrope, it uses the shutter speed of the camera instead. Jim used 19 ‘frames’ on the pot – a good balance of space per frame (about 4 cm at the outside of the bowl) and amount of animation (0.7 of a second per loop). To get it up to speed it was simply pressing the floor lever gently until it was perfect in-frame for the camera (essentially it would be 78rpm and so therefore would work on a traditional 78 deck)."
We love that the design on the inside of the ceramic bowl also animates when the piece is spun. Click here to learn more about this enchanting project.
It’s never too soon to pay another visit to the Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship. This story comes with the added bonus of providing further evidence of the awesomeness of beards:
Meet Brian, Brian’s beard, and their new duckling friend Peeps. Brian decided to try his hand at incubating clutch of eggs in hopes of raising chickens. Only one of the eggs hatched, but it wasn’t a chicken. Brian took this unexpected development in stride and set about carefully raising his new duckling friend. He played surrogate mother duck as best he could, which included sheltering peeps under his bear in place of a mama duck’s wing.
As you can see from the bottom photo, taken 41 days after hatching, Peeps has grown into a handsome young duck. Brian is now incubating 3 more duck eggs in hopes of hatching more friends for Peeps.
[via Fashionably Geek]
Last year we shared an awesome video of a breathtaking encounter with a massive flock (or murmuration) of starlings flying over the River Shannon in Ireland. Now we get to experience the same amazing phenomenon in a different place though a different set of eyes.
Filmmaker Neels Castillon shot this enchanting short video in Marseille, France while waiting at the airport of Provence. Entitled A Bird Ballet, we watch in awe as impossibly vast flocks of European starlings move across the darkening sky in ever-changing organic shapes. It’s one of nature’s most dazzling displays.
"The mesmerizing act is typically seen at dusk throughout Europe, between November and February. Each evening, shortly before sunset, starlings can be seen performing breathtaking aerial manoeuvres, before choosing a place to roost for the night. These range in number from a few hundred to tens of thousands of birds. Murmurations exhibit strong spatial coherence and show extremely synchronized maneuvers, which seem to occur spontaneously, or in response to an approaching threat."
[via Faith is Torment]