Footnotes to a History of Ornithology
Kristina Marie Darling

1. An exotic bird, frequently shot and mounted for display.

2. In the aviary, an odd stillness. That was when she wandered among the cages, lifting their tiny golden doors. Her outstretched hands.

3. I kept the sparrow in a locked box so as to preserve its feathers, their meticulous order. The next morning a sequence of unfamiliar notes emerged, that ominous singing.

4. Anomaly, anomalous:
1. One that is difficult to classify.
2. A divergence or departure.
3. The angular deviation, as observed from the sun, of a planet from its perihelion.

5. The documentary (c. 1986) depicts a series of attempts to enclose the nightingales. Although unsuccessful, the apparatus remains among the museum's collections.

6. Serinus canaria. Characterized by an ostentatious yellow throat. Its brief lifespan.

7. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, mute Philomela is also changed into a bird. These transformations, while enigmatic, were accompanied by the same improbability of music.

8. Inside the box, I found a piece of straw, its dirty feathers. A gilt mirror glistening beneath the upturned lid.

9. "An unfinished composition."

10. See Appendix A.