Birdland – Leila Jeffreys
You don’t have to be a birdlover to love Leila Jeffrey’s book Birdland, or even Australian for that matter. All you have to be is a lover of beautiful books, or a lover of mesmerising photos that capture every tiny detail of wildlife.
This book is one of the most gorgeous books that I have ever read. The photographs are exquisite and breathtakingly beautiful.
In Birdland, Leila has photographed 72 beautiful birds for her 192 page masterpiece. She studied each bird while visiting animal and conservation groups during the last decade and has expertly managed to capture the very essence of their unique personalities in her photographs. With each photograph, there is a brief story about that particular bird, their personality, their background, and funny little details about the photo shoot.
With her bird portraiture, Leila has unofficially become the poster girl for native Australian bird life and conservationism. It is no surprise then that all of the birds featured in the book are native to Australia except one, a native New Zealand Kakapo called Sirocco who is perhaps the quirkiest bird in the book.
You may wonder if I have a favourite out of the 72 birds photographed but, to be honest, I just can not choose one (it’s like choosing a favourite child!). However there are a few that I am drawn to for different reasons. Here they are:
– Sirocco (because I hail from NZ, and he’s full of character)
– Chicken, an Australian gannet (just because he’s funny looking and Leila herself was so taken by him)
– Flight Sergeant Chalky No.2, a budgerigar (a beautiful white budgie)
– Roscoe, a tawny frogmouth (so unique and crazy looking!)
– Penguin, a magpie (because I have been following him on Instagram. The Bloom family rescued Penguin and are now raising him. Check it out, it’s incredible @penguinthemagpie)
After reading Birdland I was left with one question for Leila Jeffreys. “With all of your beautiful photographs and different connections with each bird, how did you decide which bird would ultimately grace the cover of Birdland?”
I hope I am lucky enough to meet her one day to ask her this question, or even more thrilling would be to own one of her giant photographs for our home. But which one…?