11 October 2013

Rare birds of China

Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis

J. Fenwick Lansdowne, often described as the successor to John James Audubon, was born in 1937 to British parents in Hong Kong. He died in Victoria BC Canada – where he had lived for many years – just before his 70th birthday in the summer of 2008. He was taught to paint by his mother, herself an accomplished artist trained in traditional Chinese watercolor techniques.

Rare Birds of China is his most recent project, one which required almost 10 years to complete. It was commissioned in 1984 as a unique record of China's rare and endangered birds. From its inception, it has been a truly international project. The 32 birds in the series were selected with the help of leading Chinese ornithologists, professors Cheng Tso-Hsin and Hsu Weishu. This list was compiled with a particular concern for those species increasingly threatened by environmental hazards and loss of habitat.

J. Fenwick Lansdowne traveled extensively in China, visiting museums and observing birds in zoos and in their natural habitats. Museums in China, England and North America provided advice and assistance with the loan of bird skins for the artist's reference. British mountaineer Chris Bonington took detailed photographs of the habitats of Himalayan species for the artist's use.

 Blyth's Tragopan, Tragopan blythii

 Himalayan Snowcock, Tetraogallus himalayensis

 Impeyan Monal, lophophorus impejanus

 Japanese Crane, Grus japonensis

 Mikado Pheasant, Syrmaticus mikado

 Rufous-necked Hornbill, Aceros nipalensis

 Satyr Tragopan, Tragopan satyra

 Sclater's Monal, Lophophorus sclateri

 Siberian Crane, Grus leucogeranus

 Silver Oriole, Oriolus mellianus

 Temmincks Tragopan, Tragopan temminckii

White Stork, Iconia ciconia

So so beautiful.
(Full series here.)