Noticing first one then many parrots, peacocks, owls and more birds in Old Master paintings taught me to truly see the world

Leanne Ogasawara in Aeon:

I am an accidental birder. While I never used to pay much attention to the birds outside my window, even being a bit afraid of them when I was a child, I have always loved making lists. Ranking operas and opera houses, categorising favourite books and beautiful libraries – not to mention decades of creating ‘Top Ten’ lists of hikes, drives, national parks, hotels, and bottles of wine. My birding hobby grew out of this predilection. Specifically, out of my penchant for writing down the birds I found in the paintings by the Old Masters.

Hieronymus Bosch, for starters.

More here.