Birds of a feather who flock together

Bruce Harvey is a New Zealand visual artist who was born in 1931. He lives in Auckland and is one of the nation’s best known painters of birds and animals. His paintings are displayed in public and private collections around the world. Collectors of his works include Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, former secretary of the Treasury John Connelly and the Governor of Hawaii, Mr. George Ariyoshi. He has exhibited at the:

  • Kennedy Galleries, New York and
  • County Stores Galleries, Texas.

Several works by the artist have been sold at auction, including ‘Pied Fantail’ sold at the International Art Centre ‘Fine Art Auction’ in 2009.

Here are two examples from his “Birds of New Zealand” collection.

Kiwi (featured above left) is a unique species to New Zealand. There are two versions of kiwi – Brown and Spotted. The Brown Kiwi is the common Kiwi and found on all three of the New Zealand islands and more likely to be referred to as the North Island bird; while the Spotted varieties are found on the West Coast and South Island .

Kokako (featured above right) is a striking bird with silky blue grey feathers, aka known as the New Zealand Crow because of its sly and crafty characteristic. There are two species, the North Island and South Island Kokako. Apart from subtle differences in size and colorization; the main distinction is that the South Island bird displays brilliant orange wattles and the North Island species, blue wattles.

By featuring two birds here, it might look as though I am proverbially “killing two birds with the one stone.” But I feel that is very wrong. I would prefer to twist another proverb and say that, in this case, “Two birds in the bush are better than a bird in the hand,” especially when they are rare native New Zealand species.

I hope you ‘twitchers’ agree!

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