Polly Want a Cracker? Images From "Birds of the Photo Ark"

Seira Wilson on March 08, 2018

BirdsPhotoArk225.jpgJoel Sartore is an incredible photographer, and his passion for documenting earth's wild creatures is unparalleled. Last year Sartore published National Geographic The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals which has stunningly beautiful and intimate portraits of animals in captivity, many of them nearing extinction. Sartore's goal with the Photo Ark project is to photograph all 12,000 species in captivity around the globe, and his new book, Birds of the Photo Ark, is just one piece of this amazing work.

I'm not a bird watcher, per se, but I do like seeing different birds around town and I always hit the chicken exhibit at the fair to check out all the varieties of just one bird.  When I looked through Birds of the Photo Ark for the first time, I was blown away. And I continue to be astounded every time I go back to it.  Seeing Sartore's images reminds me how important these intelligent, strange, and beautiful creatures are to the planet.  I may become a birder after all...

Below are a handful of photographs that offer a small sample of what you'll see in the book.  I can't stop staring at the "hairstyle" on the Golden Pheasant...

Star Finches:
Out on the wild Australian grasslands, the Star Finch survives on seeds and grain.


In Living Color:  Orange-bellied Parrot
The shimmery iridescence of many of the most spectacular bird species comes from special, microscopic feather barbules that refract light like a prism, catching the sun only at certain angles.


Golden Pheasant:
The mature plumage of a male Golden Pheasant is distinctive—red and yellow with iridescent accents.


Whooping Motmot:
The Whooping Motmot tunnels up to 10 feet into a dirt bank to lay its eggs. Instead of reusing the old burrow, these birds dig a new one each year.


Rosy Faced Lovebird:
Though they look similar, the male Rosy-faced Lovebird has a brighter red head than the female.



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