After prolonged periods of interaction with a few specific specimens from the ornithology department, I have begun to form individual relationships and associations with each subject. The individuality of birds is often disregarded by the general populace and reduced to species identification. But, as anyone who’s ever owned a house pet can attest, animals are just as unique as any human being.
Unfortunately I have taken part in this type of idealization without even realizing I was participating in such a blatant form of homogenization. It’s somewhat understandable that people do this; pick up any bird identification book and you will see illustration after illustration of specific species in their most exemplified form. However, just because we see a man and woman standing side by side in a biology text labeled as male and female does not mean that we immediately perceive that all men and women look exactly like the people in the book. Humanity recognizes the individuality of our race yet we often subconsciously group other categories of life into tidy little encyclopedia entries.
The time I’ve spent with the ornithology specimens have broadened my awareness and recognition of individuality amongst birds. I believe that society has become subject to a similar form of homogenization. In generally we “know” that each person is an individual but often our actions tell a different story all together.
The project I’ll be starting this weekend investigates this concept more in-depth by presenting the birds I’ve formed relationships with in a way which carries connotations which are also applicable on a personal “human” level.