17 September 12

Bird Sketching at the Arboretum

green heron over water, arboretum I led a bird sketching workshop for Audubon on Saturday. There were five of us. Unbelievably, a green heron was perched just below eye level over the water and stayed there for at least 25 minutes.

Western Scrub-jay, graphite, and luke There were scrub-jays too. We all tried multiple sketches because the birds kept resuming the same position, making it a good idea to work on several at once.

Afterwards a couple of us joined up with Let’s Draw Davis, which accounts for the child in the lower-left of the jay page, proudly sporting last year’s Spurs jersey.

Posted by at 01:18 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment

26 July 12

Pelicans Everywhere

brown pelicans, pen and ink I participated in an oil spill drill last Thursday at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Bird Care and Education Center. There were about 120 pelicans in care, most of them starving. It costs a lot to feed a pelican every day and they are still coming in.

brown pelicans and snowy egret, pen and ink There was also the egret hanging around, stealing whatever fish it can.

Posted by at 04:11 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment [1]

6 June 12

And so it goes...

Dismembered crow fledgling, Derwent Inktense There’s been a gray fox hanging around the Wildlife Health Center, seen by several people during daylight. On Tuesday we saw a pup, a subadult.

This morning I found this dismembered crow fledgling out back, right next to a pile of fox scat, an obvious latrine. It may be the fledgling we saw last week, or not. This is the fate of many young birds and that any of them make it to adulthood is sort of miraculous.

Drawn with Derwent Inktense pencils with water added, then a second go of dry for the feathers.

Posted by at 01:33 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment [1]

25 May 12

American Crow Fledgling

American crow fledgling, Pentel brush pen Lots of nestling noises all over the place, and today I spotted this fledgling crow under a picnic table at work. A parent was nearby and we left the bird quickly. Lots of hazards await this little guy if he doesn’t learn to fly soon: cats, the resident gray fox, other crows, hawks. And even if he does fly, West Nile is a real risk — cases are being reported around the Central Valley already.

Posted by at 07:49 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment

23 April 12

Yellow-billed Magpie

Yellow-billed magpie, brush and ink I got more Pentel brush cartridges today and want to keep working with the brush. Magpies are a good subject for black-and-white sketches…

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16 April 12

Crows on Newly-mown grass

American crows: pen and ink

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15 April 12

Mallards in the Rain

Mallard: pen and ink After the rains, there is a pair of mallards in the pond out the window. The female was hunkered down in the long grass but the drake was peeking out…

Posted by at 12:24 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment

3 April 12

Nuttall's Woodpecker

nuttall's woodpecker, male, pen and ink They’ve mowed some of the grass outside and there’s a lot of bird activity, including this male Nuttall’s working the insects up the locus trunk.

Posted by at 06:42 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment

21 March 12

Burrowing Owl

burrowing owl, pen and wash This burrowing owl lost its left eye at an early age, and has been at the Sacramento Zoo ever since. He was having trouble seeing out of his remaining eye and was determined to have a cataract. He was having the cataract removed today at the Vet Med Teaching Hospital; I got to go in and take pictures. (I also made a quick sketch while we were waiting to go into the anesthesia room.)

ETA: Found out last night the owl didn’t make it… :(

Posted by at 01:56 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment

12 March 12

Mallard Hybrids

Mallard hybrids,pen and wash The Wildlife Health Center has done a lot of work on avian influenza and has tested a lot of the mallards at the Arboretum, which turn out to be mostly mallard hybrids. The population has dropped tremendously since a pair of river otters moved in a couple of years ago… Sketched these yesterday just by the bridge near Mrak Hall Drive.

Posted by at 06:48 PM in Bird of the Day | Link | Comment [1]

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