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124 posts tagged Birds

Meet two of the tiniest avian members of the Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders, a Green-crowned Brilliant hummingbird (Heliodoxa jacula) (top) and a Green Violetear hummingbird (Colibri thalassinus) (bottom). These stunning macro photos provide an remarkably close look at two incredibly small and fast-moving birds - both covered in the itty-bittiest feathers you’ll ever see. They were taken by photographer Chris Morgan in Costa Rica at the Bosque de Paz biological reserve in 2011.

"The hummingbirds were so tempting to photograph to the point of madness! Eventually with patience you get quite close, and I love seeing the details of these little guys," says Morgan.

Head over to Chris Morgan’s Flickr page to check out more of his wonderful photos, including an entire album of beautiful bird photos.

[via Lost At E Minor]

Colombian artist and designer Diana Beltran Herrera (previously featured here) has taken our breath away once again with more of her awesomely lifelike paper bird sculptures, each of which is incredibly detailed and quite fragile. Although some of these new birds were made as private commissions, others were created for Longwood Gardens, an extensive botannical garden located in Kennett Square, PA. With an exhibition coming up, the garden commissioned Diana to make some of her beautiful birds instead of using taxidermy specimens, which really speaks to the remarkable realism of her creations.

Head over to Diana Beltran Herrera’s Flickr page to view many more of her exquisite paper bird sculptures.

[via Colossal]

If you’re looking for an awesome new hobby, we’d like to suggest the breathtaking sport of of Parahawking. Combining the thrill of paragliding with the majesty of falconry, birds of prey are trained to fly with paragliders and even guide them to thermal columns - which are instinctively sought out by birds to help them stay aloft and conserve energy.

The sport was developed in 2001 by British falconer Scott Mason in Pokhara, Nepal, a location beloved by paragliders for its bowl-shaped valley and by birders because it’s home to many raptor species.

If you fly with Scott Mason, vultures wing directly alongside, leading the way to the best air currents—and, if you’re game, eating treats straight from your hands. The idea to combine paragliding and hawking (dubbed “parahawking”) was sparked when Mason was watching paragliders look to the flight paths of native vultures, hawks and kites to extend their aerial experiences. Birds instinctively seek updrafts, called thermals, to stay aloft and conserve energy while flying; these same thermals push paragliders higher, making the joyride last much, much longer. To Mason, the strategy is simple: “Our vultures lead the way. We follow.”

Mason is based in Pokhara where he trains and flies with birds of prey for The Parahawking Project. Parahawking only uses rescued birds, never birds taken from the wild. It began Kevin and Bob, two rescued Egyptian vultures unable to be released back into the wild. Mason trained them to fly alongside paragliders by using treats as an incentive. A portion of the proceeds from each Parahawking ride is donated to vulture conservation projects in Nepal.

Visit Cool Hunting to learn more about the thrilling sport of Parahawking.

Here’s the latest addition to the Archie McPhee Library: The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds [Buy on Amazon], written and illustrated by Matt Adrian, aka naturalist The Mincing Mockingbird.

In a journal entry Kurt Cobain once wrote, “Birds…scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth. They know the truth. Screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”

That is, no one spoke bird until The Mincing Mockingbird took a swing at it and made some truly startling discoveries. Looking like a damaged library book (which was no doubt damaged by a deranged bird) The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds is a beautifully illustrated “pocket field guide that enables anyone to quickly identify psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species. Written in non-technical language for the layman, the guide describes where to find—or where to avoid—the most disturbed North American birds.”

Throw out your other bird guides. The world is full of hilariously demented birds and, short of going outside and putting yourself and your corn chips in danger, this is the only true resource.

"Throughout the book the reader will discover tales of murder, assault, mental breakdowns, obesity, drug abuse and infidelity among the birds. This guide is used and recommended by law enforcement agencies and ignored by leading ornithologists."

Many of illustrations are paired with brief stories told by the birds themselves. The back of the book contains bird attack statistics from 1970 and a list of study questions to make sure you’ve really absorbed the material - for the good of us all.

"Reviews of the guide have ranged from "hilarious" and "classic" to "these should be burned along with ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lolita,’ you bad, bad, bad, bad man." Most libraries will not protest the banning of this book, and several librarians have called it a "nasty bit of business." There’s nothing too horrible in these, but all the same there may be a word or two that may be inappropriate for "wee people." Meaning kids. But if you consider yourself one of those "cool" parents, hey, go ahead. Hopefully your kids will pass along their therapy bills to you later on."

Read this book and you’ll laugh, yes, but you’ll also learn. You’ll learn that birds aren’t out there to look pretty, sing sweet songs and flit along the fingertips of blushing princesses. They’re living their lives, man. And once you’ve learned the truth, you’ll never look at birds the same way again. (Just try not to laugh when the birds can see you. It only upsets them more.)

[Images from the Guide to Troubled Birds via Flavorwire]

A few birds flying past your window is a perfectly normal and welcome sight, but have you ever considered how many birds fly past your window every hour? Vimeo user filmed all the birds that flew past a window of him home in Cornwall, England over the course of an hour. He then used the clear sky behind them as a blue screen to create a composite making it appear as though an hour’s worth of birds flew past his window all at once.

Then Paul cloned that first wave of birds to create what could be a lost scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds. Depending on how you feel about birds, it’s either an awesomely dreamy or nightmarish sight.

[via Nerdcore]

Toronto-based artist/photographer and videographer Sara Angelucci created this awesomely surreal series of portraits combining anonymous 19th century carte-de-viste photos with images of extinct or endangered North American birds. Her beautifully strange series of bird people is called Aviary. Angelucci describes them as portraits that “portray creatures about to become ghosts.”

"Why birds? The photographer notes that her photographs are “hybrid crossovers of faith in science with a belief in otherworldly beings.” All of these birds were once plentiful during the late nineteenth century, and Angelucci’s humanizing of these delicate creatures is as much about respecting the earth and its creatures as it is about art."

Visit Sara Angelucci’s website to explore more of her intriguing artwork.

[via Beautiful/Decay and Design Observer]

As cities grow increasingly crowded microhousing is becoming increasingly popular. So much so that it’s now being offered to the birds in London. Entitled Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven, these two sculptural installations are the work of artists Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist, known collectively as London Fieldworks. Several hundred bespoke bird boxes were mounted on two Ailanthus altissima trees, commonly knowns as the tree of heaven.

"These houses don’t look like your typical bird boxes; the tiny sculptures are reminiscent of a beehive and are clustered together along the trunk of a tree. They adhere to its form and travel in the direction of its branches. Their design is meant to reflect the surrounding architecture, which is a combination of Georgian town houses, 1960’s social housing, and the World’s End Estate that’s adjacent to one of the tree’s locations."

Commissioned for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Islington Council by up projects, the installation is meant to be enjoyed by the public as art and put to practical use by the birds. If you’re in London you can check out these pieces in person by visiting Duncan Terrace Gardens in the east and Cremorne Gardens in the west. But if any of the wee houses are currently occupied, you may not want to stand too close. Either that or bring an umbrella.

[via My Modern Metropolis]

Further proof that birds are awesome: Canadian photographer Grant Hughes captured this astonishing footage of swallows operating the automatic doors for the Campus Bike Centre at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC. The birds were already nesting inside the parkade when the school installed automatic motion-sensing doors that enable cyclists to enter and exist without dismounting from their bikes. The birds quickly learned how to trigger the motion sensors themselves, so now they can open the doors in order to come and go as they please.

[via 22 Words and Neatorama]

"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?"
While a Redditor named pixel-freak was enjoying a day at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo with his family, his two-year-old son noticed a sly avian trickster a valiant attempt to blend in with a flock of flamingos.

Didnt see the imposter until my son started screaming “QUACK QUACK QUACK!”

The pale flamingo impersonator is a Coscoroba Swan.
[via Neatorama]

"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?"

While a Redditor named pixel-freak was enjoying a day at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo with his family, his two-year-old son noticed a sly avian trickster a valiant attempt to blend in with a flock of flamingos.

Didnt see the imposter until my son started screaming “QUACK QUACK QUACK!”

The pale flamingo impersonator is a Coscoroba Swan.

[via Neatorama]

German street artist Andreas von Chrzanowski, aka Case Ma’Claim, created this spectacular photorealistic mural, entitled Secured Liberty, somewhere in the German city of Frankfurt using nothing but spray paint. It really looks as though the giant crouching man and his crowded cage of birds extend out from the wall. It’s a masterful piece of spray-painting, which demonstrates why Case and his Ma’Claim crew are considered some of the world’s best photorealistic muralists.

Be sure to visit the Case Ma’Claim website to check out more of their phenomenal street art.

[via My Modern Metropolis]