Science Art: Accipitres, Osprey, Goshawk, &c., 1889

Natural history of the animal kingdom for the use of young people Brighton :E. & J.B. Young and Co.,1889. to embiggen

Funny I should have found this image today, right after discussing Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk (a book bloody and wonderful, including cameos by Merlin Sylvestris, Sami shamans, heirloom apples, and Hermann Goering) with my wife.

Not so much because this picture has a goshawk in it – I went looking for pictures of Astur paluvibarus intentionally – but because it’s got one posed up front with an osprey. The discussion which I was having revolved around whether people had ever trained ospreys for hunting fish (turns out they had, only rarely, and they’re a bit wild like goshawks only they retrieve their catch) and why can’t I focus my attentions on something that might boost our ever-dwindling household income rather than feathered flights of fancy.

This picture is for children, or was originally. It’s from the three volumes of Natural history of the animal kingdom for the use of young people, by Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert, “adapted from the German,” as it says, by W.F. Kirby. The second volume is entirely about birds. Put every other animal in volumes 1 and 3; the second is simply birds.

Some birds hunt.