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Draw a Bird Day: Short-eared Owl

flying owl photo s

following behind–
owl-shadow, like a prism
scattering the dark

I did a few of these brush-painted flying owls and all of them looked very fishlike to me.  I usually think of owls as catlike, but in air they swim.  Short-eared owls in flight are described as “moth-like”.

pencil owl photo s

Short-eared owls have wide distribution, occurring on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.  The map I saw for North America showed wide declines in coastal populations due to loss of habitat, although those in the center of the United States and Canada seemed stable.

owl color photo s

They eat mainly rodents, and are in turn food for raptors and larger mammals because they nest on the ground.  Most active from dusk through dawn, they fly low over fields looking for prey.

Also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice of words.  It’s becoming a regular for Draw-a-Bird Day.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break.  I’m missing her, aren’t you?

In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

 

Draw-a-Bird Day: Pileated Woodpecker

pileated woodpecker s

Can you hear it? Earth’s
heartbeat chants in rhythm with
the drumming of birds.

I’ve been meaning to draw a woodpecker for awhile.  I painted this without a sketch, so the proportions are a little off, but I think it captures the essence–the colors and the crest and long beak.  I also put white on white lines for trees in the background.  Pileated Woodpeckers prefer to live in old growth forests, nesting in dead trees, and their numbers declined as forests were cleared in the 19th century.  But their numbers seem to be increasing again, as they adapt to new environments.

At my last residence I would see and hear red-headed woodpeckers. I haven’t seen any here, but on many weekends the African drummers are in residence at the historic mansion around the corner.  Both man and bird connecting to earth’s rhythms.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break.  Come back soon Nina, and bring some birds!

In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

Draw a Bird Day: Golden Winged Warbler

golden warbler 2s

tiny wanderer–
shrinking woodlands, flash of gold–
following your voice

The golden winged warbler is a tiny (5″) bird that is among the most endangered on a long list of endangered birds.  The population has been reduced by 2/3 in the last 50 years, mostly due to habitat loss in both breeding grounds (the largest population breeds in Michigan) and wintering habitat (in Central and South America–a long migration away).  They are shy, but vocal.

Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break.  Come back soon Nina!

In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.

 

Draw a Bird Day: Grackle

grackle photo s

Every beach vacation comes with its own bird. One year it was mockingbirds, one year a very vocal cardinal.  One year, crows.

This year we were accompanied by grackles. They would sit on the railing of the beach house speaking in their rusty tongue, lined up like soldiers. If one turned, all turned.  Once they saw someone was paying attention they would vocalize a bit more and suddenly disappear.

On the beach they appeared ahead of my walking path and waited for me, foraging in the waves. As soon as I caught up, they flew off ahead again.

Although it’s natural to see their iridescent strutting as a variation on crows, grackles are actually part of the lark family, related also to blackbirds and orioles.

But they do have a connection to crows—all back birds are said to know magic, to live on the borders of the possible unknown.

standing on the edge
between water and shoreline,
feathers glittering,

you pause, watch me watching you–
our eyes meet through layered light

grackle close up s

For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words, a haibun.

Draw-a-Bird Day is placeholding here at method two madness each month until Nina returns.  You can find me at https://kblog.blog/ in the meantime.

I’ve also linked to dVerse Open Link night.

Draw-a-Bird Day: Blue Jay

blue jay oak leaves s

you woke me not with
singing, but with squawks—crowlike,
insistent and loud—

a flash of blue amid oak leaves,
glittering with morning sun

I read online that bands of blue jays making a racket are often harassing a predator–must have been a hawk about the other morning.

I will continue to do draw-a-bird day here, but I’ve been posting at kblog while Nina is taking an extended break.  Once she returns, I’ll be back at MeMadTwo regularly again.  In the meantime, visit me at my other site!

 

Draw-a-Bird Day: short crested coquette

short crested coquette paint s

hummingbird magnetic

I consulted with the Oracle about this tiny (3″) Mexican hummingbird, one of many of the endangered bird species of the world.  Less than 1000 are estimated to exist.

short crested coquette pencil s

I did my first sketch, above, in colored pencil, but felt the colors lacked enough vibrancy, so I painted the top one with my metallic watercolors.

Flowers grow feathered
wings humming bird poetry
air breathes spiritsong

 

Draw a Bird Day: sheltered by shadows

mountain toucan s

jeweled feathers caught
in reflected mist—cloistered
chiaroscuro

This is another brightly colored resident of the South American cloud forest, the grey-breasted mountain toucan.  As with all inhabitants of the world’s cloud forests, they are a threatened species because of habitat loss.

mountain toucan close up s

Drawn with neocolors.

 

Crow Takes My Hand

crow tree s

Crow calls to me from above. There he is—on that roof.  He extends his invitation again and again.

leave sidewalks behind–
rise, and conjure golden fields
waving to azure

skies filled with high flying clouds,
wings singing songs into the air

I know there is magic here, even in places filled with concrete and glass.

Holding out my arms, I wish: carry me home.

watching my child-self
lying in a bed of green–
opened up, shining

crow tree close up s

For NaPoWriMo today, we are talking to animals.  Crow is always hanging around in my world.

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Draw a Bird: Peacock

As usual I saw Kerfe’s post and remembered Draw a Bird. Seeing many low swooping hawks in the area. Majestic creatures, birds.

on the possibility of seeing a painted bunting (draw a bird day)

painted bunting s

caught like a
shadow just beyond
the watching
eye, barely
imprinted on the synapse
of remembering

it flies on
the winds of held breath–
covering the
air with blurs
of moving feathers, colors
surrounded by song

My NaPoWriMo poem today has nothing to do with the prompt, and everything to do with it being the 8th of April, which is National Draw-a-Bird-Day.  I have never actually seen a painted bunting, but I have painted this bird before, in 2015, when one was spotted in Brooklyn.  This version was done with a new set of watercolor pencils I received for my birthday earlier this year.

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