Birds of a Feather

The 29th – 31st of January is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. This annual event which began in 1979 is claimed by the RSPB to be the ‘world’s biggest wildlife survey’. During these three days the RSPB are encouraging us all to look out of our windows and record the birds we see. This valuable birdwatching data is used to record the population of different bird species in order to track their numbers, and aid in the preservation of some of our most loved garden visitors.

Birds are inspiration for many artists and makers. Here we take a look at some of our feathered friends found nesting on the shelves and in the print racks at Of Cabbages and Kings. And you might just learn a few fascinating facts along the way!

British Birds by Caitlin Parks – £35.00

Caitlin Parks takes a look at some of the more characterful small birds in this graphic black and white screen print reminiscent of traditional woodcut illustration.

  • The Blackbird (top right) adult male has sleek jet black plumage which is instantly recognisable. Usually nesting in bushes or hedgerows, they feed on insects and earthworms pulled from the ground.
  • The Bullfinch (bottom right) is a secretive bird who hides amongst dense branches. With a short beak it feeds on seeds and buds of fruit trees. It will also feed from seed feeders and suet balls hung in gardens.

Gold Top by Anna Marrow – £80.00

A vibrant screen print by Anna Marrow featuring a glitter covered gold topped bottle of milk. Showing a more mischievous side to this little garden bird.

  • The Blue Tit is a small familiar friend in the garden. Feeding on aphids, beetles and caterpillars, it is one of the most agile and acrobatic birds and well suited to hanging upside down from feeders. It nests in boxes or holes in trees.

The Owl And The Butterfly by Lauren Mortimer – £95.00

This ornate owl giclée print by Lauren Mortimer is taken from one of her highly detailed graphite drawings. The bird’s wings camouflage a mass of butterflies or perhaps moths flocking to the moon.

  • The Barn Owl with its iconic heart-shaped face is mainly nocturnal and many will only ever see a fleeting glimpse. Probably more familiar are its blood-curdling night time screeches. Feeding on rodents it hunts over open countryside.

Common Kingfisher by Melissa North – £50.00

This bright and colourful screen print by Melissa North depicts the elusive Common Kingfisher, waiting amongst the reeds to make his move.

  • The Kingfisher, with is famous bright orange and blue plumage, can be seen darting alongside waterways, eating fresh water fish, and nesting in tunnels dug into the river bank.

Chaffinch by Freya Cumming – £60.00

This pretty screen print by Freya Cumming in pastel shades shows a proud Chaffinch sat on a blossom filled spring branch.

  • The Chaffinch is the UK’s most common finch, with a pink breast and white wing bars. It feeds on seeds and insects and is more likely to be seen on the ground scratching for fallen seeds rather than from hanging feeders themselves.

Crow of Winter: White by 57 Design – £80.00

Steve Mitchell of FiftySeven Design creates heavily ornate and detailed screen prints. This two colour silver and black screen print captures a crow in flight.

  • The Carrion Crow has black plumage, black beak and legs, and has a wingspan of between 84 – 100cm. They are also one of the smartest birds. With a noisy call and solitary lifestyle they are often cautious when entering gardens. The crow feeds on carrion, insects, worms and also forages for scraps.

Green Woodpecker by Chris Andrews – £60

Chris Andrews’ series of vintage inspired bird screen prints feature characterful illustrations of some much loved birds like this Green Woodpecker.

  • The Green Woodpecker is the largest of the woodpeckers found in Britain. Its favourite food are ants, which it digs up from the ground rather than pecking at trees. Vibrant green with with bright red on the top of its head, it nests in the hollows of trees.

These abstract bird shapes are inspired by Doves, the symbols of peace and love. Designed by Pivot these pieces are produced by homeless people. Pivot provide coaching, financial support and guidance to create swifter pathways out of temporary accommodation.

  • A common Dove found in the UK is the Collared Dove, named after the black band that sits at the back of their necks. Their familiar monotonous cooing can be heard in gardens and towns and they are frequent visitors to garden bird tables, picking at the seeds knocked to the ground from bird feeders by other birds.

Dove Earrings – Steel by Pivot – £17.00

Dove Pendant by Pivot – £32.00

Birdcase – Exclusive Edition by Adam Bartlett- £95.00

A mass of brightly coloured birds, perhaps Starlings chatter amongst the branches in this giclée print by Adam Bartlett. This print is taken from one of Adam Bartlett’s paintings in which he uses acrylic, emulsion, enamel and spray paint to build up multiple layers and textures.

  • Starlings are noisy little speckled birds and spend most of their time in large flocks. They are common visitors to gardens and famous for their murmurations – Acrobatic displays of large flocks, that form in autumn evenings before taking roost in the trees.

Spice Gulls by Mister Peebles – £18.00

Helen McGinley, aka Mister Peebles creates fun animal pun prints from her original watercolour illustrations. Like these Spics Gulls – A humorous depiction of the famous ‘girl power’ pop group.

  • The Herring Gull is the iconic sound of the seaside. Large noisy and over confident. Eating almost anything it won’t say no to plucking an ice cream from the hands of a distracted tourist.

Ring Necked Parakeet by Julio Guerra – £80.00

Julio Guerra creates coloured brightly coloured giclée prints of tropical birds. This Ring Necked Parakeet has found a new home in the South East of England and can be seen flying in noisy flocks.

  • Ring Necked Parakeets are the UK’s only naturalised parrot. Bright green with a red beak and a black ring around its neck which gives it its name. They visit gardens in the South East of England where they will eat seeds and berries.

Cormorant And Fish by Factory Press – £120.00

Liz Loveless of Factory Press creates beautifully illustrative and expressive prints in a variety of mediums. This impressive, large Cormorant stands proudly. Its out stretched wings made of screen printed feathers and other mark making. 

  • The Cormorant can be seen along rivers and costal areas, usually with wings outstretched, drying them in the sun. It is also an expert fisher.

We have some stylish ways you can encourage British birds into your garden.

The Birdball Seed Feeder by Green&Blue is designed to provide garden birds with a varied and reliable source of food. Made in the UK from slipcast clay, this simple and stylish design is frost resistant and offers safe, year-round feeding for birds such as tits, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers and nuthatches.

The Birdball Belle Feeder has been designed to hold both large and small fat balls, fruit and kitchen scraps, it can also be used to hold nesting material such as wool. The feeder allows small birds such as tits, sparrows, nuthatches and finches to feed while deterring larger birds.

Birdball Seed Feeder by Green & Blue – £59.95

Birdball Belle Feeder by Green & Blue – £29.00

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