In the search for a conscientious way to photograph birds Leila Jeffreys has developed a photographic practice where she is able to convey the beauty and individuality of each of her ‘sitters’. Jeffreys’ works alongside scientists researching endangered species, as well as wildlife rescue groups and conservation projects to document each variety of bird from a particular species.
Leila Jeffreys’ ornithological knowledge and extensive travel are intrinsic to her work with endangered species, yet she sees the process simply as “one animal photographing another”.
In addition to rare and endangered species, Jeffreys has also photographed Australia’s national bird – the Budgerigar – a commonplace bird in its native country. A wish to convey that the beauty of small birds is often overlooked led Jeffreys to photograph the Budgerigar with a similar approach given to a human portrait. For a more recent series, Biloela, she continued with this portrait style while recording nearly every Australian wild cockatoo species. The resulting works not only document the cockatoos' large variety of physical traits, but also capture the character and personality of each individual bird. She continues to show the beauty of birds with species including parakeets, owls, finches and hawks.