Rosemary Mosco is the naturalist, science writer, and artist behind Bird and Moon, the celebrated site where she shares nature and science cartoons. “Viewers may come for the laughs, but they will end up learning facts.” This Science Friday profile goes behind the scenes to share her work.
Always accompanied by her two pesky conure birds who peck at her head while she works, Mosco creates roughly two comic strips per month. Over a decade, she’s amassed an archive some of which have been collected into her book, Birding Is My Favorite Video Game (Amazon or Bookshop).
Her drawings are clear, colorful, and full of facts that explore the silliness of biology, bodies, and nature. And though her comics might occasionally include humor that’s geared a bit more for grownups, the jokes’ meanings won’t likely be detected by younger kids, a significant part of her audience.
In addition to her comics, Rosemary writes other science-based children’s books including a tour of our solar system (Amazon or Bookshop) and a collaborative guidebook with Atlas Obscura (Amazon or Bookshop).
Most of the characters in Mosco’s comics are talking animals, often birds, that are gleeful in their ignorance whilst regaling the reader in their own esoteric natural history.
However, her works are not just anthropomorphized or surrealist riffs on nature guidebooks. Trained as a traditional science writer, Rosemary insists on grounding her work in carefully researched science. She often collaborates with research to make sure her comics provide educational value as well as humorous commentary on the natural world.
See more ways that science and art mix in these videos:
• Illustrating the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Wall of Birds
• Building a True-to-Life Butterfly for a Habitat Diorama
• Paleoartist John Gurche reconstructs the face of Homo naledi
• Engineering with Origami
• Engineering the Perfect Pop
• Incredibly detailed insect portraits by Levon Biss