I and the Bird #84
The word landscape possesses great potency because it evokes so many meanings. Originally a simple term for a tract of land, it was eventually annexed by painters whose renditions of enduring physical elements such as mountains, waterways, and vegetation intermixed with ephemera such as lighting and weather to surpassing artistic effect. Thus it is that a landscape is not just the actual panorama of terrestrial features but can also be a portrait or photograph depicting such a view.
Part of the power inherent in the word landscape is its mutability. A work of art depicting the ocean is a seascape. Live, horticultural elements make up a softscape. Even the cacophony of visual imagery issuing endlessly from books, magazines, television, cinema, and the internet can be described as a mediascape.
Plus, landscape, like so many essential words, has transcended its original part of speech. If you don’t love the landscape before you, just landscape a better one. Planting ornamental flora or altering the contours of the ground are landscaping methods employed by landscapers to improve a landscape.
Since this is an announcement for I and the Bird, the obvious question must be, “Is there such a thing as a birdscape and if so, can I birdscape?”
Glad you asked! No less an authority than the National Audubon Society says that you can.
The National Audubon Society’s stated mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biological diversity. In other words, they want to protect the birdscape, in part by promoting responsible birdscaping strategies. And where better to learn about the nest in birdscapes and birdscaping than the Audubon Birdscapes blog?
The Audubon brand is obviously a strong one, especially in North America, but for me, the big draw here is Rob Fergus. By day, Rob is a Senior Scientist for Urban Bird Conservation at Audubon but by night (and other parts of the day) he is known as The Birdchaser! If you’ve been following bird blogs for any length of time, you know that this is hardly Rob’s first or even second time around the IATB block. Not only has he been an active participant and promoter for years, he’s hosted editions #18 and #51, quite excellently I might add. But in our first edition on an official Audubon blog (this isn’t a bootleg blog, is it Rob?) he has truly outdone himself with his Beginner’s Guide to Bird Blogs aka I and the Bird #84.
Have you been around the birding block? If you’re ready to go way ’round the block, how about following I and the Bird to Singapore? The next edition will be hosted by Y C Wee on the blog of the Bird Ecology Study Group, one I’ve admired for ages! Although he’s a long time contributor, this is Y C’s first time at the helm (everyone hosts in the end!) so make it easy for him. Send a link to your best recent blog post about birding or wild birds along with a brief summary to me or Y C (wee37 AT starhub DOT net DOT sg) by Septmeber 30 for the October 2 edition.