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Maryjo Koch recorded, in watercolour images and handwritten text, facts about brids from all over the world. The structure of a bird's wing, the sturdy complexity of its nest, and the beauty and perfection of its eggs are revealed in illustrations. The artist's text - which covers topics such as migration courtship patterns, and evolutionary adaptations as well as details about specific birds - is drawn from her own observations in the field as well as from literature, scientific writings and mythology. She shows us, and describes, the graceful flight of a swallow, the nectar-sipping hummingbird, the long migration of an arctic tern, the architecture created by the bower bird, the grounded gait of an ostrich and a kiwi, the shape and camouflage of tern's egg, and hundreds of other marvels in the lives of birds. The cover art hardly does justice to the wonders that lie in store for you within the pages of this glorious tribute to our feathered friends. Maryjo Koch's informative, hand-lettered text is drawn from her own observations in the field, as well as literature, science, and mythology. It includes quotes from notable figures such as Edgar Allan Poe, Miguel de Cervantes, and Henry David Thoreau: "How can you expect the birds to sing when their groves are cut down?" Discover fascinating tidbits, such as how the tailorbird actually stitches its nest together using its beak as a needle, tying knots as it goes along. Though it's not an encyclopedic A-Z edition, you'll find information about the tiniest bee hummingbird, laying eggs in her thimble-sized nest, as well as the eight-foot-tall ostrich laying grapefruit-sized eggs weighing almost three and a half pounds.
More remarkable than the text, however, is the incredible variety of images included in one single book. The hand lettering takes the form of an egg or the flowing pattern of a bird in flight, or simply creates a design on its own. Koch's images include fairly straightforward naturalist paintings along with more imaginative ones, such as the charming illustration of a menu from the Blue Bird Inn, with selections including the common earthworm, poison oak berries, and hundred-legged centipedes. This is definitely a book well suited to bird lovers and art lovers of all ages.