The early days of my art career were based on my passionate interest in birds – their colours, their mannerisms and their variety. Here in Australia we are not only the world’s birth place for song birds, but we have astounding numbers of gorgeous birds that we mostly take for granted. It was only when I started travelling that I realised just how breathtaking our parrots, grassfinches and songbirds were compared to birds in most other countries. The King Parrots, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Crimson Rosellas that come to our deck while we have our coffee are daily visitors, yet I wonder what an Englishman would think if these were the first Aussie birds he saw! Yet we take them for granted because they are common.
While I was working in the States a few years ago an American bloke commented that their birds were the most outstanding on earth. I had a different view and for every bird he mentioned I came up with an even more colourful Australian one. Not to say that American birds aren’t worthy competitors, but really what compares to a Splendid Wren, a Rose Crowned Pigeon or an Eastern Rosella?
Where I live in the Victorian High Country we are inundated with amazing birds visiting our garden. Their faecal calling cards on our deck every morning remind me of how privileged we are to have these colourful birds calling our garden home. However those vandalistic Gang Gang cockatoos that insist on pruning our trees most mornings are not quite so endearing….!