It's all about bird brains in this newsletter! 
(below, detail from "The Bird Watcher", with his favourite books)
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Detail from "The Bird Watcher"
Hi <<First Name>>

"Professor Polly" - a kākā with all the smartsThose all-knowing eyes! I was completely captivated by this lovely youngster - she's as bright as a button and so curious about the world. She became "Professor Polly", and she reminds me so much of a super-smart friend who became one of NZ's youngest female professors a few years back.

I have long been fascinated with bird intelligence and cognition. Study after study are now showing that birds are incredibly intelligent - just this week there was news about tool-use seen in kea (the kākā's cousin) in the wild. Long gone are the days when scientists thought that tiny brains relative to body size meant tiny abilities. 

Not only are kākā super intelligent but they have complex emotional and social lives. We do of course have to be careful at over-anthropomorphizing, but I fear under-anthropomorphizing has had a negative effect not just on our understanding of animal cognition but also animal welfare. They might not think or feel identically to humans, but they think and feel and we shouldn't assume less. Read more...

The results of our annual labour-of-love are in the Zealandia shop! Our Zealandia fund-raising calendar is a huge team effort from the volunteer Storyteller team, and this is the best one yet. The calendar is crammed full of wonderful wildlife photos for thirteen months. My favourite this year is (perhaps surprisingly to some) not one of mine, but Linton's photo and Louise's story about "Buddy" the super-smart toutouwai. And not only do we have a calendar, but through October and November, selected and additional photographs and longer stories from the calendar will be on exhibition in the Zealandia Stairwell Gallery. Come and find out why we love Zealandia so much!

And now the 2019 calendar is sorted, I'm already thinking about 2020 - what would you like to see featured? Read more...
Judi at the NZAFA with "The Spy" and "The Boffin" - photo by Hannah ShandWhat's happening...
  • 4-30 Sept - last days: NZ Academy of Fine Arts Spring Exhibition.
    "The spy (tūī)" and "The boffin (kererū)" are hanging out - both large framed prints are uniquely embellished with shimmery ink. (Photo by Hannah Shand)
  • Oct - Nov: "Sanctuary Stories"
    A photo essay exhibition at Zealandia EcoSanctuary, entirely created by my volunteer Sanctuary Storyteller team. Come and find out why we love Zealandia so much!
  • 12 - 28 Oct: Little Sprouts Fundraiser 🐣
    Helping human chicks get a good start in life. Pātaka Art + Museum, cnr Parumoana & Norrie Streets, Porirua, Wellington. Donated "Pushing up daisies" 1/open edition, 40x40cm, stretched canvas.
  • 20 Oct - 17 Nov: Spring Cash & Carry Exhibition,
    Akaroa Orion Powerhouse Gallery. 
    1 Rue Pompallier, Akaroa. Exhibiting 4 framed 18x18cm and 4 unframed 28x28cm limited-edition fine-art prints ​featuring (mostly) NZ birds.
A kererū in flight - detail of "The Boofheads"
It's "Bird in Flight" week over on the Art of Birding photography challenge, and we're getting some wonderful submissions! Check out the group's work on our Facebook page or new Instagram feed. And if you want to join in, start here.The best of the best are now also published in the Artist's Down Under magazine - I love how this magazine is so supportive of creative projects by the contributing photo artists, even it not specifically photo art.
"Bursting Out (kākāriki)" available at Forest & Bird
I'm super-stoked - four of my most favourite limited-edition prints are now available in Forest & Bird's online shop! Sales support Forest & Bird's enduring wildlife advocacy in Aotearoa and an additional 10% of my proceeds go to Zealandia Ecosanctuary. I've been a F&B member and supporter for fifteen years and am delighted to be able to support their fund-raising efforts! Do check out their shop - there are wonderful prints available from Hannah Shand and Rachel Walker too - I'm in fine company :)
Stay tuned for my next creative project that should bear fruit in the next six weeks or so... I'm so excited about it I'm fit to burst but it's not quite ready for the light of day just yet... 
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