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Imagine a bird without feathers…

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.

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