Monday, May 30, 2011

Ornithologist Hermann Heinzel

Hermann Heinzel has been enthralled by birds nearly all of his life. After World War II, Heinzel's family moved from his native Poland to West Germany, leaving almost everything behind. For the eight-year-old boy, the only thing available in abundance was the nature that filled and surrounded his village. He was fascinated, and spent hours watching the wildlife all around him, especially the kind with wings and feathers.
 "In the village, there was a boy who had a bird book, and I wanted one as well," Heinzel recalls by phone from his home in the Gers,  France. He didn't have a lot of resources, but he was resourceful. "I cut the ends off a newspaper and glued them together. I had no colored pens, but in one way or another I made it look like a bird book."
Heinzel's still drawing birds, only now he's a world-renowned illustrator who has followed his avian interests throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Galapagos and North America. His most recent work, Birds of Napa County

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