Taylor Birds and Fruit bearing Convolvulus
Artist: Forbes, James
Plate eleven from the first volume of James Forbes'"Oriental Memoirs", a work in the form of a series of letters richly illustrated, describing various aspects of nature, people and buildings he observed during his travels in India in the 1760s-70s. Forbes(1749-1819) spent most of his working-life in Western India. A keen observer of nature, Forbes wrote of the pair of tailor birds that nested in his garden in Bombay:'The Tailor bird of Hindustan; so called from its instinctive ingenuity in forming its nest; it first selects a plant with large leaves, and then gathers cotton from the shrub, spins it to a thread by means of its long bill and slender feet, and then, as with a needle, sews the leaves neatly together to conceal its nest.'