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In this magnificent display of ornithological beauty, readers are given the chance to marvel at the textures and colors of birds in stunning detail—and are rewarded with a new appreciation of art in nature.

Deborah Samuel’s photographs are meant to inspire and teach. In this book she turns her lens toward the bird, and her images are as surprising as they are exquisite. From nest to egg to feather, these images are an exercise in seeing and a showcase of what photography can reveal: the impossibly soft feathers of ospreys; the iridescence of a bird-of-paradise; the curved, needle-like beak of a common scimitarbill; and the psychedelic hues of the aptly named resplendent quetzal.

Samuel also photographs the nests and eggs of birds, showing us examples of incredible artistry and simple, natural perfection. Accompanying these images are detailed scientific descriptions of Samuel’s subjects, written by Mark Peck, an ornithological expert at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

An index detailing each species—its common and scientific names, size, habitats, and breeding practices—makes this more than a photography book, while the extraordinary images transform it into a sourcebook of colors, shapes, and designs.

Available at Webster Collection / Signed Copies

376 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM  (505) 986-0151






We are accustomed to seeing representations of nature mediated through the hand of man in books and museums, yet natural elements can stand alone as art.

The intimate photographs in The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds: Designs, Patterns and Details offer eloquent examples from the avian world. The photographer Deborah Samuel states that the images in this book are a meditation on what it means to be alive and also serves as “portraits” of abstract ideas. The images were photographed from specimens in the Royal Ontario Museum’s ornithology collection and include details of feathers, eggs, and nests shot against a black background, which accentuates the elegance of the forms and the brilliance of the colors.

Attributions and brief descriptions of the objects are provided. This volume will please the 48 million birders and may attract others to bird watching, if not in the field, then through the gifted eye of this photographer.