Join BirdNote tomorrow, November 30th!
Illustrator David Sibley and actor H. Jon Benjamin will face off in the bird illustration battle of the century during BirdNote's Year-end Celebration and Auction!
Esha Munshi co-founded the Feather Library, a digital library that collects and documents the feathers of Indian birds. Launched in 2021, the library has high-resolution photographs of about 90 bird species. This library is open to everyone — whether you’re a researcher, birdwatcher, conservationist, or an ordinary person who came across a feather.
A Library of Feathers
Written by Ananya
This is BirdNote.
[Indian Golden Oriole song]
Esha Munshi: If you see a feather on the ground, I’m sure 99% of people will pick it up and see it and imagine which bird it came from.
Esha Munshi co-founded the Feather Library, a digital library that collects and documents the feathers of Indian birds. Launched in 2021, the library has high-resolution photographs of about 90 bird species. Like the brilliantly colored Indian Pitta…
[Indian Pitta call]
…and the wispy tail feathers of the Wire-tailed Swallow..
[Wire-tailed Swallow song]
Each feather is carefully documented. These are birds that came to a rescue center in Gujarat, India, but didn’t survive. Esha trained under Vanya Rohwer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and learned how to prepare the feather specimens.
Esha Munshi: It’s learning at every process because very few people in the world do something like this.
The digital library offers a glimpse into the birds that aren’t seen in most photos. Like the details of their flight feathers which are hidden when the bird is perching.
Esha Munshi: Wire-tailed Swallow’s wires have a fork at the end of their wires, which is at the microscopic level I’m talking about.
This library is open to everyone — whether you’re a researcher, birdwatcher, conservationist, or an ordinary person who came across a feather.
Esha Munshi: I dream that someday the Feather Library will have all the species of the world nicely cataloged for anyone to see.
[Indian Golden Oriole song]
Find a link to the feather library at our website, BirdNote dot org. I’m Ananya.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Editor: Jazzi Johnson
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Content Director: Jonese Franklin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Indian Golden Oriole ML599626161 recorded by Vyom Vyas, Indian Pitta ML106696821 recorded by Ramit Singal, Wire-tailed Swallow ML175308651 recorded by Andrew Spencer.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2023 BirdNote November 2023
ID# library-01-2023-11-27 library-01