What We Are Reading Today: Bird a Day by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Updated 08 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Bird a Day by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  • It is fully compatible with the free downloadable BIRD QR app

This Bird a Day 2020 Daily Calendar, designed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is the only interactive page-a-day desk calendar to showcase the birds of eastern and central North America. 

It features sensational photographs of common birds, many of which were sourced from citizen-scientist contributions to the Macaulay Library collection, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Each page includes the latest range map, informative fun facts, and easy reference icons for habitat, food, nesting, and behavior. The calendar also highlights bird and conservation events throughout the year, with back-of-page content, weekend “Get out there and go birding!” ideas and activities, and the best birdwatching tips from the Cornell Lab. 

It is fully compatible with the free downloadable BIRD QR app so you can also listen to HD bird sounds for each species.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Its hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation.


 “We Are All Things”: An ode to lost love 

"We Are All Things" by Elliot Colla. (Supplied)
Updated 29 January 2020

 “We Are All Things”: An ode to lost love 

CHICAGO: In a room in Cairo, a man sits alone surrounded by items that fill his house. His relationship has just ended and, as he laments, he doesn’t realize that he isn’t the only witness to his latest tragedy. The objects in his house that he interacts with every day but pays little attention to, all watch on as the remnants of moments fade away from the room but remain imprinted in them. In “We Are All Things,” a graphic prose poem written by Elliott Colla and illustrated by Ganzeer, ordinary objects are brought to life with their own opinions, memories, and quirks.

The first image is of a black lamp with a pink shade which illuminates the room as it “soaks up the shapes and colors of the rest of the room and wears them as a funhouse reflection.” Colla’s words and Ganzeer’s pink and black illustrations jolt awake objects to tell their side of the tale.

Each object has a special personality, the bed that harbors not only humans but also the weevils that have eaten away the cotton in the pillows. A stereo that plays Umm Kulthum’s voice from a cassette tape, her pink figure in the middle of the page passionately singing of a longing that has repeated itself in the room countless times. The oldest object is a mirror, which not only sees things but keeps images and memories, making the room seem as if it is “full of ghostly reflections and optical echoes.”

Colla’s words ignite everyday objects, giving them spirited personalities, such as the clock that must endure “obscure comments” about itself, such as: “Time standing still. Time flying. A stitch in time,” while it holds time together with its “wires, coils, and levers.” Ganzeer’s illustrations capture the moments and objects so intricately in a charmingly unique atmosphere created by a collaboration that is peculiarly delightful.

Ganzeer and Colla push readers to think beyond existence to where secrets can be held by the objects in their lives in this remarkable chapbook. Molly Crabapple sums up the book perfectly in the introduction: “This is Elliott Colla and Ganzeer’s nostalgic ode to a lost love in a city that for the last two millennium has been the focus of every variety of love, longing, and loss.”