Imagine a bird without feathers...

By: Gabriel Thoumi, CFA
February 18, 2013



Sometimes a book leaves you breathless. Simply breathless.

In The Unfeathered Bird, Katrina van Grouw exquisitely combines creative and intellectual curiosity and produces a wonderful book. The Unfeathered Bird simply is a delight. Each page I turned over was like reliving the awe and discovery of childhood. Broad strokes of creativity confined and structured within the natural anatomy of birds. Raw curiosity and intrigue drawn patiently one pencil stroke at a time illustrating our unfeathered friends.

Often With over 380 accurate illustrations of birds’ skeletons coupled with pithy and easily digestible ornithological tidbits devoid of OTJ (ornithological techno jargon), The Unfeathered Bird simply will be the bird book to which all others masters’ work will be compared to.


This is the bird book that is for equally readily available to the ornithologist, to the artist, to the inquisitive mind, and to that person who needs a special coffee table book to showcase at home. Framed by the rich history of historical illustrated natural history books on the one hand and by the clear descriptive storytelling embedded in the Sibley Guide to Birds and Roger Tory Peterson’s seminal birdbooks, The Unfeathered Bird will capture, hold, enhance and enlarge your imagination.

Many of these species have never been previously illustrated. By focusing on the skeletons of various species, what may appear to be mundane is brought to life. Things we would not usually consider are demonstrated—such as the shortness of the femur in many birds. Detailed anatomical drawings provide keys to avian behavior. In a rich irony, it is through patiently demonstrating birds without their "clothes on"—in an unfeathered nudity—that we are able to more fully understand the richness of their structure.

In much the same the way that David Macaulay sheds light on architectural drawing, Katrina van Grouw’s 25-year effort and diligence will pay off by shedding light on the anatomy of birds.

It should be noted: all anatomical drawings were from carcasses of dead birds, which means no birds were harmed in the production of this book.



How to order:

The Unfeathered Bird
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Authors: Katrina van Grouw
ISBN: 9780691151342





Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, LEED AP, is a natural resource scientist and financial consultant.













Related articles

Unique song reveals new owl species in Indonesia

(02/13/2013) Want to find a new species of owl? Just listen. A unique whistling call have led scientists to discover a new owl on the Indonesian island of Lombok, according to a new study in PLoS ONE. Two scientific expeditions, occurring separately but within a few days of each other, both noticed something different about the calls coming from owls on Lombok.


Chasing down 'quest species': new book travels the world in search of rarity in nature

(02/13/2013) In his new book, The Kingdom of Rarities, Eric Dinerstein chases after rare animals around the world, from the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in Brazil to the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) in Bhutan to Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) in the forests of Michigan. Throughout his journeys, he tackles the concept of rarity in nature head-on. Contrary to popular belief, rarity is actually the norm in the wildlife world.


Scientist: releasing invasive birds in Turkey to eat ticks will backfire

(02/04/2013) As Turkey raises and releases thousands of non-native helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) to eat ticks that carry the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, new research suggests guineafowl actually eat few ticks, carry the parasites on their feathers, and further spread the disease.


Killer kittens: U.S. cats kill up to 25 billion birds and small mammals per year

(01/30/2013) Domesticated cats in the United States kill far more animals than previously thought — 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 – 20.7 billion small mammals per year — finds a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications.


Getting intimate with a giant, yet poorly known flightless bird: the cassowary

(01/23/2013) For large, conspicuous, and somewhat notorious animals, relatively little is known about cassowaries, a group of flightless birds that roams the rainforests of Northern Australia and New Guinea. This fact is highlighted in Cassowaries, a recent documentary by Australian journalist and film producer Bianca Keeley. Cassowaries tells the story of cassowaries struggling to survive after a major cyclone destroyed their rainforest home.


Nest of one of world's rarest birds discovered for the first time

(01/17/2013) A nest belonging to one of the world's rarest birds has been discovered by researchers for the first time in Brazil, reports the American Bird Conservancy.







CITATION:
By: Gabriel Thoumi, CFA (February 18, 2013).

Imagine a bird without feathers....

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0218-thoumi-bird-feathers.html