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Although enthralled by the enigmatic beauty and character of mounted aviary specimens, I never lose sight of man’s hubris in turning animals into replicas of themselves, and the irony inherent in striving to achieve an immortality for them by killing them.
This specimen, still bound in string and pins after having been abandoned before its completion decades ago, was especially heartrending.
When I came upon it crammed into a museum steel cabinet with dozens of other neglected specimens, I felt that I was witnessing its second death.
Despite its tragic circumstances, this bird-turned-animal-object still exudes great personality and dignity, and paying tribute to it became almost a reverential mission for me.