Feathered friends March 14, 2022

from Start the Week· ·

Humans have been fascinated with birdlife since the first cave drawings 12,000 years ago. In Birds and Us, Tim Birkhead explores how birds have captured our imaginations and inspired both art and science. He looks back to the mummified ibises of Ancient Egypt and the Victorian obsessions with egg collecting, to today’s bustling guillemot colonies on the Faroe Islands and the fight to save endangered species. Around 1820 John James Audubon declared his intention to paint every bird species in North America. The result was the hugely ambitious Birds of America featuring 435 life-size, hand-coloured prints. The National Museum of …



Humans have been fascinated with birdlife since the first cave drawings 12,000 years ago. In Birds and Us, Tim Birkhead explores how birds have captured our imaginations and inspired both art and science. He looks back to the mummified ibises of Ancient Egypt and the Victorian obsessions with egg collecting, to today’s bustling guillemot colonies on the Faroe Islands and the fight to save endangered species. Around 1820 John James Audubon declared his intention to paint every bird species in North America. The result was the hugely ambitious Birds of America featuring 435 life-size, hand-coloured prints. The National Museum of Scotland is currently exhibiting several of his original unbound prints, and the curator Mark Glancy tells the story of this controversial figure who shot thousands of birds in his pursuit of the perfect pose and specimen, but also had a unique eye for their beauty. Alison Richard has spent five decades investigating one of the most extraordinarily diverse places on earth – Madagascar. She recreates the island of the past with its towering flightless Elephant birds and giant tortoises. Her latest book, The Sloth Lemur’s Song captures the magic and mystery of Madagascar today, but also serves as a warning at what could lie ahead for its unique wildlife. Producer: Katy Hickman Image Credit: Detail from a print depicting Carolina Pigeons or Turtle Doves from Birds of America by John James Audubon © National Museums Scotland.jpg