Out of the Sky

Tianjiao Guo is an illustrator based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Shanghai, she moved to California at the age of 17. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she loves long walks in nature, playing piano, listening to music, and reading ancient Chinese and Japanese stories, all of which inspire her artwork.

For her Zócalo sketchbook, Tianjiao brings us a series of digitally rendered watercolor birds. By shape and color, the creatures feel firmly part of the sky that holds them. It’s as if …

Birds of a Feather Drive Together | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Birds of a Feather Drive Together

Vivienne Strauss has been a full-time artist since 2008. While she is not formally trained as an artist, she has a background in philosophy and is an avid reader, cinephile, …

How Hawai‘i Forces Us to Redefine the Meaning of ‘Native’

An Environmental Historian Argues That Being Indigenous Is More Alchemy Than Fact

I was born in the Territory of Hawai‘i, three weeks before statehood. As a kid I played in its dirt, ran around in the rain (my hometown of Hilo is …

When Birders With Binoculars Trump Supercomputers

If You Want to Know Which Species Are Going Extinct, Don’t Use an Algorithm. Count Ducks at Christmas.

It was just after dawn on January 3 and a freezing wind blew around my binoculars and into my face as I stood scanning a steely Atlantic bay. Suddenly, where …

Why Do Birds Fall in Love?

Bickering Hummingbirds and Devoted Albatrosses Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About Courtship and Commitment

On Valentine’s Day, our thoughts inevitably turn to the birds and the bees. And as someone who studies birds, I can tell you our feathered friends have much to teach …

The Bowerbird

He builds a sitting room:
a roof of twigs, a carpet
of purple flowers.
On the floor, fruit shines
and stones make it proper.

Women come by when they feel …