Good Reading : April 2013
53 Birds’ eggs 1. Crested tern (Thalasseus bergii) 2. Sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscata) 3. White tern (Gygis alba) 4. Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) 5. Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) 6. Tasmanian native hen (Tribonyx ventralis) 7. Noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) 8. White-browed babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus) 9. Sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) 10. New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) 11. Eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis) 12. Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) 13. White-chested white-eye (Zosterops albogularis) 14. Golden-headed cisticola (Cisticola exilis) Canaries aside, just a few years after immigrating to Australia, not only was Cayley working as an artist but he was also beginning to find his niche, as a ‘delineator’ of birds. More than that, he was soon creating his distinctive paintings of kookaburras, blue wrens and dead and dying game birds. Together with his tongue-in- cheek Australiana, they were to become his signature works. In 1882 The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Cayley had painted another characteristic work, of a kookaburra grasping prey in its beak – in this case a ‘writhing centipede ... the burnish of the insect’s scaly joints ... painted with no less accuracy than the delicately tinted plumage of his captor’.