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Due to heavy reconstruction of this webpage, this blog is temporary suspended to renew in this summer, it will be updated again after late-autumn, thank you for your visits in these 9 years.

27 May 2017

Treasures from German Museums

Demoiselle Crane (蓑羽鶴) ; Red-billed Toucan (紅嘴巨嘴鳥) and
Black Crowned-Crane (黑冕鶴)
Germany (2017)

2nd January, 2017. Bonn

The French court painter Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755) set the vain beauty contest of three feathered opponents in his painting "Pfefferfresser, Jungfern- und Haubenkranich" (1745). The master of the exotic animal portrait does not only understand the virtuoso play with color and light. Experts also attest to a subtle and nuanced approach to his "models", which gives these almost human traits. On the threshold of Rococo at the time of the Enlightenment animals were also given a soul in animals.

Oudry, one of the most important painters of his time and a respected figure in the cultural life of Paris, studied the behavior of animals in nature. As court painter of Louis XV. He specialized in dramatic jazz scenes, which belonged to the king's favorite subjects. Famous is his zoologically accurate depiction of the exotic animals in the royal menagerie - especially the life-size picture of the Indian rhino lady "Clara". For about 25 years Oudry worked for the French court and made a name for himself all over Europe. Until his death, he created around 1000 paintings and 3000 drawings.

The impressive painting by Clara was shown in the Paris Salon in 1749, and in 1750 by Duke Christian Ludwig II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, together with a series of menagerie paintings. Around 56 drawings by the celebrated court painter went into the possession of the Schweriner Hof, so that today a closed collection of Oudry's works is still located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. With 34 paintings - among them "pepper-eaters, gannets and caterpillars" - and about forty manuscripts, Schwerin owns the worlds largest collection of the French animal painter. The menagerie paintings were moved from Staatliche Museum Schwerin to the baroque palace Ludwigslust in 2016, 35 kilometers south of the state capital.

20 May 2017

Aerogramme of Giibraltar

From left to right :
Mediterranean Shag (地中海鸕鶿) ; Eurasian Hoopoe (戴勝)
Gibraltar (1992, 2008)

25th August, 2016. Gibraltar

Gibraltar has long been known as a key location for observing birds so we thought what better subject for the 2008 Definitive. The ‘Birds of the Rock’ Definitive focuses on some of the beautiful birds that grace Gibraltar’s skies.

Hoopoe breeds throughout the Mediterranean and is known to many locals as ‘Gallito de Marzo’. They are particularly noticeable around the Alameda Gardens in March during its main migration period every spring.

Mediterranean Shag is a small breeding colony of 5-8 pairs of this threatened seabird breeds in sea caves along the east side of Rock. The Gibraltar colony is possibly the only one left on mainland Iberia.

13 May 2017

Aerogramme of Vanuatu

From left to right :
Pacific Imperial-pigeon (太平洋皇鳩) ; Purple Swamphen (紫水雞)
Streaked Fantail (點胸扇尾鶲)
Vanuatu (2012)

21st September, 2016. Port Vila

The Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres has a fascinating migration story compared to the Vanuatu Petrel Pterodroma occulta which breeds on Vanua Lava while the Vanuatu Scrubfowl Megapodius layardi (Namalao), found on Ambryn Island, predominantly incubates its eggs in geothermally-heated soil. Nambiru or the Purple Swamphen Porphyrio Porphyrio has a very loud explosive call described as a "raucous high-pitched screech”. The Dark-brown Honeyeater Lichmera incana is also loud and noisy in contrast to the endemic Southern Shrikebill Clytorhynchus pachycephaloides which is a beautiful songbird. Long-tailed Triller Lalage leucopyga simillima is endemic to Vanuatu and not threatened.

The Streaked Fantail Rhipidura spilodera is also endemic on all except the smallest islands from Vanua Lava to Efate. These can be compared to the Red-bellied Fruit Dove Ptilinopus greyii, which is considered to be capable of flying between islands. Of the others, the Pacific Imperial Pigeon Ducula pacifica (locally known as Nawemba) dines on fruiting native trees; the Silvereye Zosterops lateralis has a distinctive olive coloured head and white eye-ring and the Striated Mangrove Heron Butorides solomonensis reaches only 45cm in height but has interesting behavioural traits.

6 May 2017

Antillean crested hummingbird

Antillean crested hummingbird (鳳頭蜂鳥)
British Virgin Islands (2014)

7th July, 2014. Road Town

The Antillean Crested Hummingbird is a tiny hummingbird species with a small geographic range in the Caribbean, from eastern Puerto Rico through much of the Lesser Antilles. In its range, it is easily identified both by the small size and the obvious crest. In the United States it is generally unknown, although there are a handful of disputed sightings in both Texas and Florida.

Found in a variety of habitats, typically open, lowland areas such as forest edges and clearings, parks, and residential areas. Feeds on both nectar and small insects.

Forages by taking nectar from flowers, vigorously defending favored patches from rivals. They also will take insects, both by gleaning from vegetation while hovering, or by capturing insects in flight. The nest of an Antillean Crested Hummingbird is a small cup built of plant fibers and decorated with bits of moss, lichen, and other material, built within 3 to 10 feet of the ground in a shrub, vine, or other protected area. The female usually lays 2 eggs, and she alone incubates them. She alone feeds the young once they hatch. The young fledge after about 3 weeks.
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