ON RARE BIRDSANITA ALBUS Book Number: 88626 Product format: Hardback
Albus is a brilliant bird artist whose paintings compare with the famous ornithological artistry of John James Audubon, and in this study of four extinct birds, plus six more whose existence is threatened, she uses many of her own gorgeous illustrations. Not a bone or item of plumage remains from the Guadeloupe Violet Macaw but this has not stopped artists from imagining how it might have looked. Edward Lear painted the rare Indigo Macaw and with meticulous research the author traces the history of different macaw species up to the reintroduction of Spix's Macaw into the wild in the 21st century. Other extinct species are the Passenger Pigeon, Great Auk and the Carolina Parakeet. Among endangered species are the hermit ibis, northern hawk owl and laughing kookaburra. The Waldrapp is the subject of some spectacular artwork depicting its wild black feathery head, curved pink bill and colourful plumage. Albus's own study, "Sunbathing Waldrapp in Delta-Wing Posture" is among the most original of many illustrations. Her Corncrake silhouetted against a night sky and cloudy moon is a beautiful piece of artwork, conveying something of the bird's shy mystique. The Goatsucker or Nightjar is associated with dark powers in American Indian mythology, but Albus points out that it enjoys a sunbathe, spreading its wings and tail for maximum exposure to the sun's rays. Kingfishers have exerted a fascination over artists since Roman times, and illustrations from all periods bring out their darting beauty. The book also has beautiful line art and colour photos as well as the artistic colour plates. 276pp, colour reproductions.
Bibliophile price: £9.00