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What name could be a more apt description of Australia than The Land of Parrots, a name inspired by late sixteenth-century maps showing a southern region labelled Psittacorum regio? This beautiful book takes a close look at parrots in Australia, from the first published illustration of an Australian parrota Rainbow Lorikeet collected live on Cooks 1770 voyageto William T. Coopers twentieth-century watercolour of the elusive Night Parrot.
With introductory essays by ornithologist Penny Olsen, Flocks of Colour covers two and a quarter centuries of discovery and illustration of Australias avifauna. It features a rich portfolio of images of all the Australian parrots, by various artists including John Gould, Edward Lear, Neville W. Cayley and William T. Cooper, selected from the collections of the National Library of Australia, The foreword is by Joseph Forshaw, a world expert on the parrot family.
Highly illustrated; beautiful colour reproductions
Ideal gift book
Penny Olsen is an ornithologist, researcher and writer with a passion for natural history. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University. Her latest books include Cayley and Son: The Life and Art of Neville Henry Cayley and Neville William Cayley and Collecting Ladies: Ferdinand von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists.
A plethora of pictures, paintings and prints of parrots, parakeets and other perky psittacines perched prettily, their pulchritudinous plumage proving popular perennially, and including cheeky cheerfully chattering cockatoos, cockatiels and corellas. The illustrations are from the collections of the National Library of Australia and all 56 species of Australian parrot are included. The use of such illustrations, taken from the past 200 years of European discovery, provides a historical context and allows the reader to consider whether our perceptions of parrots have changed over time. And if some of the earlier artworks lack anatomical accuracy, they certainly reflect the charm of their subjects.
Of the many treasures held in Australia's galleries and museums, surely the least known is the collection of natural history prints at the National Library in Canberra.Olsen has trawled the archives to produce this gorgeous collection of prints and paintings of Australian parrots from the past 240 years. From a blue-bellied parrot captured on Cook's voyage of 1770 to the now-extinct Norfolk Island kaka, Flocks of Colour delights on every page. This is not a spotter's guide but a visual journey.