We had a room packed with zoo staff, zoo volunteers, local birders, and anyone else in the area with a love and appreciation for ornithology. Honestly, I think a person not previously interested in birds would be converted having seen this presentation, though.
One of Katrina's main points to her book was that there is so much more to be fascinated by in birds than just feathers. We tend to focus on the plumage because it is flashy and colorful but there is so much more going on in a bird's body that is just plain fun to learn about. Below, Katrina explains all the unique adaptations of a woodpecker that allow It to the do what it does without having its eyeballs fly out the back of its little noggin every time it smashes its bill into a tree.
Katrina's book took so long to publish because neither science publishers nor art publishers were completely sure what to make of the idea. The science publishers thought it was too art focused and the art publishers thought it was too scientific. Neither was sure the book would appear to a wide enough audience. It wasn't until a fateful night in a pub that she got a deal with Princeton University Press. Smart move, Princeton.
|This is true.|
Domestic birds are just as strange. Crested ducks actually have a hole in their craniums where the fluffy crest grows. This crest ALWAYS matches the color of the duck's flanks, not the rest of its head. Also, in a genetically confused attempt to make up for the hole in the skull, the duck's skull has a strange hook-shaped horn-like structure growing out of a different part of its skull. Selective breeding is weird.
In order to get a dead pigeon to appear as if it is inflating its throat sack, sometimes you need to get creative...
|Why didn't I think of that!|
Thank you again to Katrina for coming down to share your incredible story with us! If you have not already, definitely grab a copy of Katrina's book, The Unfeathered Bird.