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LisaB

HW3D Vice President & Queen Bee
Staff member
Co-Founder
AudubonBDayBanner4.jpg

John James Audubon, born on April 26th, 1785, was the United States dominant wildlife artist for half a century. His seminal work, Birds of America, a collection of 435 life-size prints, is still a standard by which bird artists are measured. In his later years, Audubon sounded the alarm about the destruction of birds and their habitats. After his death, the Audubon Society was formed and carried his legacy into the future.

Today, Ken Gilliland carries the spirit of JJ Audubon’s work into the 3D digital age by promoting avian artistry and environmental awareness through his Songbird ReMix series. While his contribution to the bird conservation community is an ongoing thing, once a year he hosts a special sale event to bring awareness to the world of birds and raise funds necessary to protect them and their habitat.

This years sale features one new product, “Waterfowl Volume 5: Geese” which has 12 species of geese with some m/f, juvenile and subspecies variations, and the first of three waves of a complete Songbird ReMix library overhaul which updates older versions to current technical standards.

The first batch of these updates is complete and includes: all 5 volumes of the Birds of Prey series, all 4 volumes of the Waterfowl series, both Owls volumes, Nightjars and Kiwis. Folder structure has been changed to have everything put under one folder (birds, props, materials and poses) in both Poser and DAZ Studio native formats. All four render engines are now supported with Iray, 3Delight, Superfly and Firefly presets. All birds are presented in “character” formats -- that means one click loads the "ready to render" bird. The second batch of updates will be released late summer and the final third, hopefully at Christmas.

2018 marks twelve years of this highly anticipated 3D bird event. Audubon California has a promotion called “Give $5, Save 5 birds”, paying the farmer to leave their crops standing which saves endangered Tri-colored Blackbird chicks from being “harvested” along with the crop that is their home. This year we start off with some good news; California Fish and Wildlife has finally and officially declared the Tri-colored Blackbird an endangered species. The Tri-colored blackbird, an endemic Californian species, has been championed by my charity sale and has saved over 30,000 blackbird chicks, however, the fight isn’t over yet with forces moving to unprotect everything by removing the Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA), so the battle continues.

Each year, Ken has donated 25% or more of proceeds from the Audubon Birthday Sale to Audubon California. Over the years, the sale has generated thousands of dollars for Audubon. This year, 33% (or more) of Ken’s proceeds on the 2018 Audubon's Birthday Sale will be donated to Audubon California who is directly responsible for preserving many of the birds featured in his Songbird Remix series.


We asked Ken some questions to find out more about Audubon, what else we can do and why saving birds is something everyone should care about. See the full interview here.

 
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Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Thank-you, Hivewire3D (and Lisa) for that wonderful introduction and hosting my annual sale. As Lisa said, 33% (or more) of the proceeds from sale goes to Audubon California to save birds. With their "Give $5, Save 5 Birds" campaign literally each product you buy will save at least one bird. Every day of the sale, I'll be posting a quote, a bird fact and some thoughts on birds....

Quote:

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."

--John James Audubon, 1785 - 1851 (Born today on April 26th)​

I was asked years ago by a 3D marketing head why I make so many bird models. "Well", I answered, "there are over 10,000 different species of world found currently around the world, so there's a lot of choices. With humans, there's one species that comes in two sexes and about 5 different colors... so the reason question should be, why are there so many human models?" My misanthropy aside, the world of birds is amazing and well worth covering, even the LBBs (Little Brown Birds).

My Songbird ReMix sets attempt to marry some science, some environmentalism and some art into a single package. I purposely include a few "eye candy" birds to help sell the set, there are some birds included because they're in trouble (endangered) and some just because they're important to the ecosystem. While you may get a set for a particular bird, please take the time to read the include PDF field guide and learn about the others birds in your set. My hope is that you'll find other birds you love in the set and caring about them leads to your concern to protect them.

Fun Facts:

-There are over 10,000 different bird species in the world
-The most common symbol found on any form of currency is a type of bird
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
For those Poser users wondering where the newly updated sets have gone, look under Animals/Songbird ReMix in the Figures library. I purposely have put them there to avoid confusion with the non-updated sets. Eventually (hopefully by the end of this year), all the sets will be located there once they are updated.

Quote:

“Birds should be saved for utilitarian reasons; and, moreover, they should be saved because of reasons unconnected with dollars and cents...
The extermination of the Passenger Pigeon meant that mankind was just so much poorer... And to lose the chance to see frigate-birds soaring in circles above the storm, or a file of pelicans winging their way homeward across the crimson afterglow of the sunset, or a myriad of terns flashing in the bright light of midday as they hover in a shifting maze above the beach— why, the loss is like the loss of a gallery of the masterpieces of the artists of old time.”

—-Theodore Roosevelt, 1916​

Fun Facts:

  • The first United States law passed to protect birds was after the public outcry of the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet going extinct in 1914. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 still stands today despite numerous attempts by conservative fractions to abolish or defund it. The statute makes it unlawful without a waiver to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell birds listed therein ("migratory birds"). The statute does not discriminate between live or dead birds and also grants full protection to any bird parts including feathers, eggs and nests. Over 800 species are currently on the list.
  • The Passenger Pigeon was the most populous bird in the world (estimated 5 billion birds) in 1850. Within sixty years it when extinct, thanks to human activity (hunting and habitat destruction). In written accounts given by those who actually saw the Passenger Pigeon flocks, “Beech tree limbs sagged as the colony crowded on slender branches. The largest colony that nested in Wisconsin as said to have at least 135 million adults and covered over 850 square miles. When the flock took off, the day would turn to night with a black cloud of birds, two to three miles across and forty miles long flew to its next destination at up to 60 mph.
 
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JOdel

Extraordinary
HW Honey Bear
Where does one find the new Geese package? It isn't showing in the store.
Or is it not out yet?
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
@JOdel- the new Geese set had a few small issues for me to fix. I think you'll be seeing that early next week (halfway through the sale).

Today's bird facts and quote...


  • The Western Scrub-jay (now renamed the California Jay) has a complex social structure with other jays and actually holds funerals when one of their comrades falls.
  • Nearly 6 million Californians consider themselves "Birders" (Audubon California 2010)
  • In the United States, Vermont has the most enthusiastic birding population at 39%; Hawai'i is the lowest with 9%. The average is about 24%. (USFWS 2011)

and today's Quote:

Is it acceptable for a species to vanish? What about two such species? Or three? When do we decide the world will not be the same without them?
-from the "Field of Birds" film​
 
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Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
That California Jay is one pretty bird, that's for sure. It's also interesting they stop what they're doing to gather around a fallen bird.
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
The California Jay (aka Western Scrub-jay) can be found in "Cool and Unusual Birds v1". They are incredibly smart birds. One morning, I had one land on my bedroom window sill and squawk and rap on the window until I got up. The jay then guided me to a tree where a neighborhood cat was threatening their nest. I realized I was their reinforcements and I scared away the cat. Once the cat had left, they let out their "happy" call to me.

Quote:

"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
-John Muir
Fun Facts: Saving Birds actually creates JOBS

  • 40.5 million people in the US buy wild bird seed and feed birds at some time during the year. $3.22 billion was spent on bird seed and $1.8 billion on bird feeders. 4 million people in Canada buy wild bird seed and feed birds at some time during the year. $790 million was spent on bird seed and $360 million on bird feeders. (USA & Canada Wild Bird Feeding Industry Benchmark Research 2013)
  • US Birders spent an estimated $15 billion on the birding trips (food, lodging, transportation) and $26 billion on their birding equipment (cameras, binoculars, scopes). The trip and equipment expenditures of $41 billion in 2011 generated $107 billion in total industry output across the United States and created 666,000 jobs. Total industry output includes the direct, indirect, and induced effects of the expenditures associated with bird watching. It also created $13 billion dollars in federal and state tax revenues and $31.3 billion in income revenues.
  • For many states within the US, and countries around the world, wildlife tourism is their top economic producer. Damaging environmental protections will end up damage economies... In the United States, 73% of Hawaiian visits are birders in search of seeing Hawaii's rapidly declining endemic bird populations, 69% of Wyoming and Alaska's tourism comes from Birders. Other states that count on birders include: Florida 25%, New Hampshire 45%, Vermont 31%, Utah 31%, Maine 63%, Montana 40% and New Hampshire 45%. Only 20% of the US State economies don't count on Birders.
An Iray render of the Crested Owl for Owls of the World v2.

Crested Owl Iray.jpg
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
The California Jay (aka Western Scrub-jay) can be found in "Cool and Unusual Birds v1". They are incredibly smart birds. One morning, I had one land on my bedroom window sill and squawk and rap on the window until I got up. The jay then guided me to a tree where a neighborhood cat was threatening their nest. I realized I was their reinforcements and I scared away the cat. Once the cat had left, they let out their "happy" call to me.
Oh fun. Thanks for the heads-up, as I never know in which of your bird packs I'll find a specific bird. There's just something about the blue and white combo of their feathers that I like.
 

JOdel

Extraordinary
HW Honey Bear
Regarding the forthcoming geese package; will it include an updated Canadian goose? I have the freebie which you included with purchase of the earlier package, but haven't downloaded that one yet, since I wanted to know whether that was updated as well.
 

Alisa

RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
QAV-BEE
JOdel-the Canadian Goose is in Volume 4
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Yes, the Canada Goose is in the newly updated Waterfowl Volume 4. That volume includes 5 geese (including the Canada Goose), 2 loons/divers, 4 coots and 4 grebes.

Today's Quote:

“Why do birds matter?” is one of those questions like “What is love?” or “Why are we here?” or even “Is there a God?” Unanswerable, I think, by logic. One could cite facts like, birds eat lots of harmful insects, charm us at our feeders, or challenge us to learn their field marks, molts, and names both common and scientific. But perhaps the answer lies deeper. Since the beginning birds have lifted our eyes to the skies. They’ve shown us we’re not gravity’s slave, that flight is possible and limitless. It can hover and soar, dive and display, and take us from one end of the planet to the other in a single, impossible burst of energy and purpose. Inspiration is the gift birds have given us from the start. But now they give us a question as well. Like the canary in the mine, they hold the planet up to us like a mirror and ask: “Can you not see that if we pass away, soon you will as well?” That’s a good question, and since birds pose it, they matter a lot.

Wes Craven, Hollywood director
Today's Bird Facts:
  • About 85 million Americans enjoy observing, photographing or feeding wild birds. That means about 1 in 4 Americans are birders. (National Survey on Recreation and the Environment by the USDA's Forest Service 2013).
  • 56% of US "Birders" are women (USFWS 2011).
  • 1 in 5 Canadians are "Birders", spending an average of 133 days in a year on the activity. That’s more time than is spent on any other nature activity — including gardening, which people dedicate more than 70 days a year to, on average. (Canadian Nature Survey 2010).
  • Birding is the second most popular hobby/pastime worldwide, only surpassed by gardening.

Part of the "update" includes Translucency on wing and tail feathers in all 4 renderers (Iray, Superfly, Firefly and 3Delight. Firefly shown here)

African Cuckoo-hawk.jpg
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Today's Quote:

"Yet I also appreciate that we cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well—for we will not fight to save what we do not love (but only appreciate in some abstract sense). So let them all continue—the films, the books, the television programs, the zoos, the little half acre of ecological preserve in any community, the primary school lessons, the museum demonstrations, even […] the 6:00 A.M. bird walks. Let them continue and expand because we must have visceral contact in order to love. We really must make room for nature in our hearts."

-S.J. Gould
Today's Bird Facts:
  • About 45 million people (75% of the population) in Britain provide food for birds at some point during the year.
  • The combined value of 17 different ecosystem services that birds provide (such as pollination and water catchment) is estimated between $16- 54 trillion per year worldwide. This is around double what all the worlds economies make together per year. Without birds, we'd have to pay for these "free" services ourselves... so protecting birds actually saves us all money.
Today's Cool Bird:

Common Poorwill
(last sighted in Ken's yard last night :) )
This night-jar is found from British Columbia and southeastern Alberta, through the western United States to northern Mexico. Many northern birds migrate to winter within the breeding range in central and western Mexico, though some remain further north. They eat nocturnal insects; such as moths, beetles, and crickets. Song of male is a melodious, whistled “poor-will-low” lasting about 5 seconds.

The common poor-will is the only bird known to go into torpor for extended periods (weeks to months). This happens on the southern edge of its range in the United States, where it spends much of the winter inactive, concealed in piles of rocks. This behavior has been reported in California and New Mexico. Such an extended period of torpor is close to a state of hibernation, not known among other birds.

Common Poorwill (from Frogmouths, Nightjars and Goatsuckers) rendered in Iray (no postwork) using the Sagebrush Habitat

common poor-will iray1.jpg
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Today's Quote:

"There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences."
-- Robert Ingersol
Today's Bird Facts:

  • The first recorded bird protection law was past in Ancient Egypt by Pharaoh Psammetich I. The Pharaoh protected the Egyptian Vulture (on pain of death) because he realized the importance of vultures cleaning up carrion that often caused disease outbreaks. The Egyptian populous referred to the vulture, after the law was passed, as "Pharaoh's Chicken."
Cool Bird of the Day:

Cornell Laboratories of Ornithology announced the discovery of a new Bird of Paradise. Maybe after I get through all these updates, I'll consider doing it in Songbird ReMix form ;)

 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
Ohhhhh YES!! What an unusual looking bird, especially when in courting mode. I'm loving it Ken, so if you get to create this beauty, you'll at least make me a very happy camper. :D
 

Ken Gilliland

Extraordinary
HW3D Exclusive Artist
Today's Quote:
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and bread."​
—- Edward Abbey​
Today's Bird Fact:

While many Americans refer to the Budgerigar as a parakeet, the term “Budgie” is more common. The term “Parakeet” refers to a number of small parrots with long flat tails. I’m sure much to the Budgies’ dismay, the term “Budgerigar” comes from an Aborigine phrase that means "good to eat". It is believed to be the most common pet parrot in the world, and it has been bred in captivity since the 1850s.

Today's cool birds are two that are found in Songbird ReMix Australia...


 

Jan

Adventurous
What cool videos and by the Master. I love David Attenborough, how do they get such good close ups - he must have great camera people. I had not seen those ones before. There are Satin Bower Birds in my next door neighbours garden and I have seen the bower, it is just like in this video - I used to wonder where my Blue pegs went off the clothes line :confused: then I found out :laugh:

Thanks Ken, enjoyed these.
 

Willowisp

Adventurous
Ken, pretty sure the video of the Lyrebird is partly faked. Here is the original clip straight from BBC

This video is really funny, but it is also very sad when you realize their habitat is being destroyed :unsure:
 
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