Bickering, snickering, sniping and biting, jostling and jousting: this erupts when dozens of double-crested cormorants settle in for the night's roost in a row of tall trees along the the Ship Canal.
|John James Audubon. Rough-Legged Falcon, 1938.|
This jostling and jousting and the postures of aggression remind me of Audubon's depiction of birds: he often painted them in a pugilistic contortions: necks twisted, beaks open, bodies torqued in battle. I'm not sure if he did this intentionally, to show off the expanse of wings, the full glory of coloration, or if it reveals something about his perception, conscious or not, of the nature of human relations.
As a photographer, I am amazed by his ability to freeze moments of such action and flurry without having had the benefit of stopping time with a camera. How was he able to envision and execute split-second postures and actions in such a masterly way?