Chinese Magpie

Chinese Magpie - Birds and Mammals
Chinese Magpie (pen & ink, 1993). Signed limited edition of 300 on fine card. A4. £35.

This features a Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha, one of the most stunning birds you will see in China - somewhat larger than the familiar black and white Magpie (with which it often flies) and with a longer, floppier tail. It is sitting on the roof of the Zhenhai Tower, in the city of Guangzhou (Canton), an ancient building that features some fantastic roof finials. The hill in the background is Coal Hill (Jingshan Park), Beijing, which is the hill that overlooks the Forbidden City (some Large-billed Crows are wheeling around it). The picture pinches architecture from other places too - the roof in the mid-ground is from Hong Kong! To be honest, you do not see a great diversity of bird life in Chinese cities, but in the 1990s many cities still had extensive areas of traditional architecture and ‘hutongs’. Much of this has now been cleared through re-development but I’m celebrating it here.
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