3 September 07

Remedial Bills I: Sacramento Zoo

Crested screamer -- pen and ink If you have to do remedial bird sketching, the zoo’s a good place. You can get very close to the birds and they’re used to people, so it’s a good way to scrutinize them at length. We spent a couple of hours this morning at the Sacramento Zoo.

Flamingo -- pen and ink The disadvantage is that zoos tend to have outlandish, outrageous birds, the kind that appeal to people whose main interest is really not birds but who like bright colors and weird bird shapes. So the bills aren’t really representative of what I’m mostly going to be working on.

Tawny frogmouth -- pen and ink Kookaburra -- pen and ink It’s okay, though. By far the most interesting thing I learned today was that the point where a bird’s mouth opens is way behind, sometimes by a huge amount, the part of the bill that’s visible. There’s connective tissue and ceres and feathers and all kinds of other things going on — the bill is part of the skeleton and protrudes through all the soft stuff. Where, and at what angle, is key to drawing the bird at all accurately.

Magellanic penguin -- pen and ink Worth the $9 admission, the 100 degree heat, and the kids screaming for ice cream, that was. The penguins were moulting and were safely behind glass in what I assume was climate-controlled coolth…

Posted by at 06:44 PM in Bird Body Bits | Link |
  1. Lovely sketches. You could easily cover the $9 admission fee if you sold them!

    richard    7. September 2007, 03:02    Link
  2. Great job on the bills, and good observation on the structure of the mouth parts. I really like the Kookaburras.

    zeladoniac    13. September 2007, 16:15    Link

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