Birding with a Touch of Murder: A Colouring Book of Bird Predation
21 images of birds in the mouths of predators, with facts about each species, information about conservation efforts, and what you can do to support bird populations around the world.
The widespread effects of bird predation are hard to quantify and devastating. In particular, ground-nesting and urban birds are at risk due to various forms of predation and environment loss. Whether they are directly being affected by feral cat colonies, or the victim of indirect predation after a window collision, bird populations around the world are dwindling.
A portion of this project's proceeds will be donated to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Since birds are very difficult to track population-wise, more research needs to be funded, as well as support provided for current efforts, like cat and fox-free safe havens, reducing toxoplasmosis transmission, and feral cat colony management.
The goal of this project was to explore content that is educational, as well as a bit sensationalized in order to add a level of dark humour to a complex and serious issue. My intentions are to add a touch of levity, as well as avoid going too dark or macabre. Bird predation is a reality, and the book not only features imagery depicting predation, but it also discusses steps we can take to help this widespread issue. It is most definitely not the predator's fault - they find birds tasty! It's about carving out safe locations for birds, as well as limiting our own impact on their population.
Diverse green spaces and keeping our pet cats well fed is a great start, as well as coming together to discuss larger efforts to support population growth and conservation.
This colouring book was crafted as a professional practice project for my Master's Degree with Falmouth University. I was tasked with creating a project that is in line with my current brand ideals, as well as a communications campaign.
Here is a link to the Colouring Book: Birdur Colouring Book
Digital Download version is here: (Digital) Birdur Colouring Book
Postcards are here: 5x7 Postcards
My local newspaper talked about "Birdur" - check out the article here.
I have done my best to do a broad range of research into this topic, but I am by no means an expert in the field. The book will include references as well as suggestions for further research. Here are a few references to compelling studies:
SMITH, Michael J. et al. 2020. ‘The Impact of a Fox‐ and Cat‐free Safe Haven on the Bird Fauna of Remnant Vegetation in Southwestern Australia’. Restoration ecology 28(2), 468–74.
BLANCHER, Peter. 2013. ‘Estimated Number of Birds Killed by House Cats (Felis Catus) in Canada’. Avian conservation and ecology 8(2), np–np.
REBOLO-IFRÁN, Natalia, Lucía ZAMORA-NASCA and Sergio A. LAMBERTUCCI. 2021. ‘Cat and Dog Predation on Birds: The Importance of Indirect Predation after Bird-Window Collisions’. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 19(3), 293–9.