I think this is my favorite new page spacer and bird border. It features two birds that remind me of
Australian Kiwis the shore birds we used to see when we lived near the coast. Both have a fish in their beak. There’s flowers, vines, leaves and acorns too.
This black and white
kiwi birds border is from a book published in 1890. The book was about the shapes of shields and did not identify an illustrator. It would be my guess that this drawing is one of those great print foundry pieces, so the actual illustrator was most likely never given credit, by name, for their work.
Hope someone finds this piece useful.
It’s been a while since I found this sweet little bird border and just recently, a New Zealander dropped me a note about Kiwi birds. This vignette, more than likely, does not include Kiwi birds. They are flightless, don’t live near waterways and most importantly don’t eat fish. My new Kiwi friend, Gill, suggested that they might be some sort of heron.
The herons and egrets that I have encountered are generally tall, long-legged and long-necked like the great blues. I have probably seen a number of the shorter-legged species just didn’t realize that they were actually from the heron family.
Curious after Gill’s sweet email, I went searching for a more likely species. It might be one of the so-called night herons. They are quite short in stature and have feathers that would create a pattern similar to the fringe around the neck of the birds in this border image.
Regardless of what type of bird the artist was thinking of and whether they sprang from the imagination or were inspired by real life; these two cuties are a bit of a rare find. Most of the bird-related borders and vignettes have tall cranes, crows or more mythical birds.
For now, I’ll leave the title of this border since it’s been indexed by Google for years. I’ll try and see if I can find some vintage illustrations that are truly Kiwi birds and will put a link from this post to them.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.