In Birdland, Australian fine-art photographer Leila Jeffreys presents us with a bird-watching experience like no other, drawing birds out from their leafy shadows and airy territories and presenting them to us with the skill and intricate detail of a portrait painter. The result is a stunning encounter with some of the world's most beautiful birds.
On display are fine feathers of all types-eagles in burnished battle armor, cotton candy-pink cockatoos, owls in spangled evening wear, and the finches and parrots who couldn't settle for just one or two colours, so chose the whole palette instead.
Captured in a moment of stillness, Jeffreys's feathered sitters reveal qualities and features that invite human projection. Meet the sociable gang-gang cockatoos Commander and Mrs. Skyring, always up for a soir e; the dignified and kingly black kite Fenrick; and the adorably gamine Pepper, a southern boobook owl with impossibly huge eyes and irresistibly cute skinny legs.
Sydney-based Jeffreys works with animal rescue and conservation groups to create her portraits. Her love and compassion for her subjects is evident throughout, and every bird has a story, which Jeffreys shares in a profile of nearly every species in the back of the book.
There are working birds, like Soren, the wedge-tailed eagle, who patrols areas to prevent cockatoos from damaging buildings and lorikeets from overindulging on sugar on hotel balconies; Blue, the orange-bellied parrot who is part of a breeding program to increase the population of this critically endangered species; and Sirocco, New Zealand's kakapo conversation superstar.
Birdland invites us to rediscover birds, to gaze unhindered, and to marvel at their many-splendored glory.