Chapter: Bearded Tit
This image of a Bearded Tit that accompanies the chapter on this bird shows the bird perched on what can be assumed to be a plant. Like the Marsh Harrier, the illustrator decided to portray the bird interacting with nature on a small scale to give context, yet the fact that only the bird is in color shows where the real emphasis is. What is more important than the bird’s relation to it’s environment is its realistic and detailed portrait. Therefore, the images in this book deliberately highlight the bird so that readers, if need be, can easily identify this species in the real world.
Like the other chapter openings in this book, the section on the Bearded Tit begins with etymology. However, what is interesting about this species is that Morris includes the ancient british term for this bird, barfog, again underscoring his interest in history. While analyzing the geography these birds can be found in, their habits, and their diets, Morris draws comparisons and contrasts to birds of the same genus. Therefore, it his attention to nuance that makes his description of birds unique and realistic, unlike sources of previous centuries where a significant part of the content included myth and heresay. This chapter is the last in this first volume and concludes simply with the text “end of vol. 1”. Therefore, this collection of British birds is extensive and detailed with Morris designating focus to each specific species which in turn gives the reader a sense of familiarity with the breadth and variety of British birds.