07 August 2009

The soaring craft and artistry of bird-built baskets

Every year, winds bring to earth the craft of many birds, along with eggs and chicks.

Many birds line their nests with softer stuff, parrots such as rainbow lorikeets plucking their own fluff to make multicoloured lining. This fur-lined nest uses individual strands of possum fur (each hair so fine that a coarse-skinned human hand can't feel it) as if they were yarn or wire, positioning each and securing it so that they each pointed inwards like a sea urchin in reverse—and the artist/craftscreature also wove in spiders' silk and egg cases, bark, moss and lichen.

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