Entertainment

Book review: Nest The Art of Birds

'Nest The Art of Birds' is a delightful, must-read.
'Nest The Art of Birds' is a delightful, must-read. Contributed

BOOK: Nest The Art of Birds

AUTHOR: Janine Burke

PUBLISHER: Allen & Unwin Aust

RRP: $32.99


 

AUSTRALIAN art historian and amateur naturalist Dr Janine Burke has won numerous writing awards for her fictional and biographical works.

She invites us into that largely unseen and undiscovered art in the natural world; intricate birds' nests.

Whether it is a satin bowerbird busily arranging his boudoir with blue objects or the wagtail's tiny mud nest, ringed with cobwebs and leaves, they are indeed works of art.

Already documented in antiquity, the first comprehensive works on the subject were the Goulds' impeccable illustrations where birds and their nests were intimately viewed for the first time.

"Immaculately attentive imagery, woven with exquisite skill", is how Gould described the white-shafted fantail's home.

The golden-headed cisticolas of Africa, veritable seamstresses as they thread a long grass shoot (first making a neat hole in the stem), literally sew their nests together.

David Attenborough called them "the most skilled tailors in the whole of the bird world".

Dr Burke herself is a skilful weaver as she intersperses stories and poems to highlight her main subject.

She cites Virginia Woolf, Karen Blixen, Shelley, Wordsworth, Robert Frost and many others as avid bird watchers, evidenced in their poems and stories.

Nearer home, she delights in the extraordinary nests made by the blue wren, the mudlark and the honeyeaters.

"Feathering your nest" takes on a whole new meaning in Dr Burke's delightful book.

Topics:  birds book review



Shark nets: Why you really need to read the fine print

A sign at Lighthouse Beach advising visitors of the shark net trial.

Is it safe to get back into the water?

Lismore's composting gets the green thumbs up

Northern Rivers Waste team members (l-r) Danielle Hanigan, Paddy Byrne, Kevin Trustum and Charlie Crethar launching the Biocycle Compost Facility expansion earlier this year.

Lismore can now add another sustainable accolade to it's reputation

VIDEO: Meet our shark watchers

Shark spotter, Orion, is excited about his new role with Shark Watchers.

Meet Orion Sturch, the 14-year-old who will be droning the sea to save your...

Local Partners

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!