In photographs that surprise with their eye-catching composition and amaze with their detail, The Art of Birds captures the beauty of birds as most people never see them. Jim Miller focuses his camera lens on distinctive and spectacular species found in the wetlands and along the shorelines of Florida and the southeast, portraying their behaviours in their natural habitats.
Ranging from striking portraits to high-speed stop-action shots, the images showcase the splendour of large birds such as the anhinga, great blue heron, sandhill crane, snowy egret, osprey, and flamingo. They also depict the charm of smaller species including the ruddy turnstone, boat-tailed grackle, and the least bittern. Many of the photographs display brilliant plumage up close. Others show aspects of birdlife related to courting, feeding, and flying.
Accompanying the images are descriptions of the species by early naturalists and ornithologists, from William Bartram to John James Audubon to Arthur Cleveland Bent. The excerpts from their narratives and journals reveal bird populations and environments that we can only imagine today, providing a homage to Old Florida through the perspectives of some of its most astute and eloquent chroniclers.
Miller's captivating photography encourages viewers to marvel at the elegant combination of form and function in bird species, perfected by processes of adaptation and selection over millions of years. The Art of Birds celebrates the creativity of nature, the joy of observation, and the richness of birdlife.
Jim Miller has exhibited his photography at galleries and museums across the southeast USA. The former state archaeologist for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, he has explored the state’s natural lands and waters for decades, and he has combined his lifelong interests in art and natural history in his bird photography.
"The Art of Birds matches deeply evocative photographs to the best observations of Florida birdlife from past centuries. The book left me with a fresh desire to explore our parks and public lands anew, to feel how wild birds make the place."
– Eric Draper, director, Florida State Parks
"Stunning; brilliant! The Art of Birds is truly a visionary work from the heart and eyes of a gifted photographer and will serve as a reminder to us all of the elegance and grace that defines our natural world."
– Joe Hutto, author of Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season Living Among the Wild Turkey
"Miller shows us the aerodynamic perfection of the wings of the black skimmer, and the plunge of a pelican like a javelin into the waters of the Gulf. We see the spiraling feathers surrounding the piercing eye of the great blue heron, the singular linear patterns formed by the legs of wading birds, and the delicacy of the snowy plumage of egrets. Miller shows us why artists and scientists have been held in fascination of Florida birds for hundreds of years."
– Ron Yrabedra, artist and professor emeritus, Florida A&M University
"In photographing Florida's abundant array of exotic birds, Miller has captured their dazzling combination of form, color, and motion."
– Janine Farver, former executive director, Florida Humanities Council