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130 posts tagged Birds

Check out the awesomely long tails on these roosters! These regal specimens are Onagadori or “Long-tailed” chickens. They’re a breed of chicken from the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan who evolved from common domestic chickens who mated with Green Junglefowl. Also known as the ‘most honorable fowl’ in Japan, they’ve been carefully bred over the centuries to achieve their spectacular tails, which grow to lengths of 12 to 27 feet. It takes these chickens at least three years to molt. Onagadori breeders take tremendous pride in their chickens and provide special hutches with perches well above the ground, which helps keep their tails clean and in good condition.

If Rapunzel had been a chicken, she probably would’ve looked a lot like one of these awesome birds. These extraordinarily fancy fowl have Special Natural Monument status in Japan, which means they’re considered to be living monuments of Japanese culture and, as a protected breed, it’s illegal to take their eggs out of the country.

[via Lost At E Minor and Wikipedia]

First came the delightful Dirds (Dog-birds), followed by the marvelous Meowls (Cat-owls), today the Department of Awesome Animal Hybrids introduces us to another spectacularly surreal creature: Bears with Beaks.

From the Angry Eagoala and Panda Bearrot to the Sad Beargle and the Hungy Pelibear, these beaky bears are the product of the collective imagination and photoshop skills of a two-year-old subreddit called… wait for it… BearsWithBeaks. Thanksgiving just got a whole lot more interesting now that we know about the Wild Bearky.

Head over to BearsWithBeaks for many more examples of this hilarious, yet strangely touching hybrid species. Just don’t leave your fingers where they can nip them.

[via Neatorama and 22 Words]

Check out these awesomely cute and sleepy pieces of topiary in the Jardin des Plantes de Nantes, a botanical garden located in Nantes, France. Created by French artist and children’s book author Claude Ponti, they’re part of the “Journey to Nantes" (Le Voyage à Nantes) art festival. These delightful topiary sculptures are just one stop on the festival’s 10-mile-long trail of public artwork on display throughout Nantes.

Photos by Molaire & Tentacules, Les petits nantais, Jean-Sebastian Evrard and Big City Life Nantes respectively. (The sleepy bird in the bottom image is from the 2013 festival.)

[via Neatorama]

Buffalo, New York-based paper artist Maude White painstakingly hand-cuts exquisite depictions of animals (particularly birds), people, leaves and other subjects. Each piece requires thousands of precise, tiny cuts, and some of them contain even more delicate images hidden within the larger designs.

"I have great respect for paper. When I cut, the thin membranous material reveals its strength to me. No matter how small my cuts the paper holds. There is a certain comfort in that, a comfort I enjoy. I feel that there are very few things in the world as reliable and constant as paper. Paper is everywhere and it has been telling stories for centuries. By respecting and honoring paper for what it is, and not considering it a stepping-stone to something greater, I feel like I am communicating some of the pleasure it brings to me. I am not creating for Art’s sake. I am creating for Paper’s sake, to make visible the stories that every piece of paper attempts to communicate to us."

In September 2014 Maude White will be showing some of her work at the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative as part of an exhibition entitled Birds I’ve Been.

To check out more of her work, visit White’s online portfolio and keep up with her latest creations, including fascinating process photos, via her Instagram acount. She also offers some of her creations for purchase via Etsy at Brave Bird Paperwork.

[via Colossal]

Before today it had never occurred to us that birds and bananas are at all similar. Now that we’ve seen this wonderfully weird and ridiculously cute series of parrot-banana hybrid Epoch Gashapon toys, we’re dying to see how other fruit and fauna pair up.

According to RocketNews24, these banana birdies are selling so well that the manufacturer has plans for a whole series of “parrot-foodstuff mash-ups.” The parrot-mushroom hybrids seen in the bottom image are coming out next.

Photos via @mel__t, Netorabo, @suicarin, @yasuu22, @akky_1981, and @nyairu1.

The parrot-banana series actually includes a number of birds from the parrot family from little cockatoos to the splashy Macau.

[via RocketNews24]

Born in Hong Kong and now based in Pittsburgh, PA, artist Bovey Lee painstakingly hand cuts astonishingly intricate designs and scenes on large sheets of thin Chinese rice paper. These mesmerizing works are as awesomely detailed as they are delicate. Look closely and you’ll discover cityscapes hidden among leaves and grass or cars driving along what you first took to be blades of grass. Practically weightless all by them selves, Lee mounts her fragile cut paper pieces on silk before they’re hung on gallery walls.

Visit Bovey Lee’s cut paper gallery to check out more of her amazing cut paper creations.

[via Colossal]

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]