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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Welcome Spring!

The birds have been singing cheerfully again here in the Washington, D.C. area as the weather has turned warmer. This picture of a male Red-Winged Blackbird, displaying his fine red and yellow epaulets as he sings, was painted by artist John W. Taylor, who formerly worked in the Division of Birds at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Taylor's book, Birds of the Chesapeake Bay (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, c1992), includes a selection of his paintings as well as his accompanying journal notes and observations on the natural history of the region, where he has lived for many years. In 1998, Taylor issued a sequel, Chesapeake Spring (also from the Johns Hopkins University Press) featuring more images and stories drawn from his field journals.

"Red-Winged Blackbird" by John W. Taylor, from the copy of Birds of the Chesapeake Bay in the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, located in Edgewater, Maryland (qQL683 .C48T39 1992X SERC)

--Diane Shaw, Special Collections Cataloger, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

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