Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wounded Messengers

Photo by Mansura Khanam.
Pigeons are one of those birds considered to be among the lowest of animals; it is found at the bottom of the sociozoologic scale based on its use value to humans, and many people consider them vermin.

Bangladesh-born photographer Mansura Khanam has been photographing injured pigeons who are convalescing at the Wild Bird Fund, New York City’s rehabilitation center for wild birds.  These pigeons have suffered a whole host of problems thanks to their contact with humans, including Sharon, above, who suffered lead poisoning.

From CNN:

Through Khanam’s patient lens, the birds stare directly back at the human viewers. Eye to eye, it is harder to see them as “flying rats.”

They challenge us to acknowledge them.

These are monogamous birds whose mating rituals include aerial wing claps and special calls. These are birds that collaborate – males and females share nest-building and incubating time.

We are reminded that these adaptable creatures are in fact wild, and that we share a habitat.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Companion Animals Then and Now

Buzzfeed recently featured a series of photos sent in by readers of their pets from the past and the present to show how cute they continue to be, now that they are no longer puppies or kittens.

But these photos of the equally charming people posed with their animals show something else as well: the power of he human-animal bond.

Because unlike some people who buy or even adopt animals and then abandon, sell or surrender them after they find that they no longer fit into their lives, the people in these photos are just as devoted to their companions as they were years before when they first brought them home.

Beautiful indeed.