As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 21 March 2014

Cockatoo spotted in 15th century Italian painting

The discovery of a cockatoo in a 15th-Century Italian Renaissance painting could knock assumed histories of early European trade routes in Asia off their perch.

Andrea Mantegna's 1496 painting 'Madonna della Vittoria' and (insert) the apparent cockatoo (Getty).The small image of the sulphur-crested cockatoo — a native of the Australasian region — was found in Andrea Mantegna's 1496 painting Madonna della Vittoria, resting in a prominent position above the cross, over the Madonna's right hand.

The bird's sighting follows a revelation in January of what appeared to be a kangaroo inscribed within a 16th-Century Portuguese manuscript which was believed to have once belonged to a nun.

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According to University of Melbourne historian Heather Dalton, the bird's discovery could ruffle the feathers of history concerning the complex South East Asian trading routes that existed before European explorers' arrival in the 16th Century.

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