Monday, August 21, 2006

Bestiary :: Birds of America

The wild turkey feeds primarily on seeds, fruit, leaves, and insects such as crickets. It occasionally rounds out its diet with invertebrates and amphibians. It is a sedentary bird that nests in the mature deciduous forests of southernmost Québec, near the U.S. border.This large bird is from America but got its name from the mistaken belief it was imported from Turkey. Because of its long history as prey, it is timorous. It is a good runner and often spends its nights perched in a tree for safety. The length of the bird is 91 to 122 cm.

John James Audubon (1785-1851) found the meaning of his life when he was 35. His ambition to publish a book depicting American birds life-size was realized some 11 years later with the publication of the huge 'Birds of America' with 435 plates, depicting wildlife he had observed during his travels from north to south of America. Each bird is depicted life-size in its environment or perched in vegetation associated with its habitat.

Sometime later -- 150 years or so later, in fact -- the Musée de la civilisation produced an extraordinary website to celebrate this extraordinary publication. Not only does it have all 435 colour plates, informnation about Audubon and the birds, and links to Audubon and bird-watcher societies around the world, but also a very pretty multimedia meditation on some of the themes.

You'll know where to find me for the next week or two...

Harmony: explore the world of Audubon >>
Flip through 'Birds of America' >>
Musée de la civilisation >>