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Weekend drawing and painting, 10/17/20

I started this one a few weeks ago. It’s good that I’m trying to post some art every Monday because it makes me sit down and work. This one has the three figures in it but they were put in intentionally.

I wasn’t feeling inspired much. Took a walk with my husband and found this little bird wing. I’m hoping it’s just a piece from the bird and that the bird is still okay. It was a beautiful little find so I had to do a drawing.

Lovely weather here in New Jersey. I hope everyone has a good week. Nina

Stellar’s Jay (Draw a Bird Day)

hawk’s cry
hungry birds scatter
blue wings appear
a raucous throng
feasting

A gogyohka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

I’ve been hearing blue jays everywhere I go for the last month. Since I’ve already featured blue jays, I decided to draw and paint its West Coast relative, the Stellar’s Jay. Like all jays, they are excellent mimics, and imitate hawks to scare other birds away from food they want to eat. They also pretend to be dogs, cats, squirrels and chickens.

Stellar Jays prefer dense coniferous wooded habitats, but being scavengers and opportunists, have adjusted well to the encroachment of humans.

Draw a Bird: 9/8/2020

Bluebird sitting on her nest.

Flamingo craning her neck.

Happy Draw a Bird day!

Loggerhead Shrike: Draw a Bird Day

butcherbird–
we find your habits
distasteful–
twisting necks,
impaling your prey on thorns–
killing to survive

preferring
our own destructive
impulses–
too often
disconnected from earth–
we pull life apart

The Loggerhead Shrike, also known as butcherbird or thornbird, is a medium sized songbird that acts like a raptor.  With a short hooked beak, but lacking the talons of a true bird of prey, it hunts in similar ways, diving from an elevated perch or hovering and flushing its victims.  It then impales its food on thorns or barbed wire.  It can kill prey larger than itself by spearing the head or neck and twisting at a very high speed.  Sounds gruesome, no?  And many of the reference photos I looked at showed it either consuming or impaling its next meal–amphibians, insects, lizards, small mammals, small birds.

But it’s part of the food chain.  And that’s how it obtains it’s food.

Loggerhead Shrikes, like many birds, have become endangered as their North American habitats shrink or are destroyed.  Climate change and pesticides have also caused populations to decline.

How did I post this?  Several people suggested going into the WP Administration page where you can do a normal post without dealing with the blocks.  I looked at the block again briefly, but without success.

Still in the midst of moving, but should be back posting (as long as I can do it this way) in a couple weeks.

Draw a Bird Day: Rainbow Songbird

nina draw a bird aug 8

Nina’s internet has been out since the tropical storm, with no promises of when it will be back, so she took a photo on her phone of her bird and sent it to me to post.  Another colorful tribute to Draw a Bird Day!

And hopefully her internet will be back soon so she can post more of what she’s been doing.

Draw a Bird Day: Carolina Wren

carolina wren 3s

wren magnetic

The Carolina wren is common throughout the eastern United States, but it is more often seen than heard.  Ground dwellers who prefer the undergrowth near forests, they live in pairs, and are believed to mate for life.  The male is the most vocal, but they can also be heard in duet.  Although shy of humans, these small brown birds are active and inquisitive.

carolina wren 1s

deep rivers wander
tree to earthstone,
listening–
brown birdsong grows wild,
seeding wind with ancient light

carolina wren 2s

A gogyohka from the Oracle for Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.

more birds

after adrian s

The morning wakes without rain,
a shimmer of green
appearing from the silhouettes
of the trees scattered between
buildings.  Silence floats
off the glossy reflections
of the windows
holding the rising sun.

I look for Crow flashing
black feathers as he calls
from somewhere I can’t see.
His voice bounces off
the brick and I imagine
he raises his sharp beak,
laughing as he follows
my eyes searching  for the sound.

I have not asked him to speak–
he does not wait for invitations—
I do not for an instant believe
he is without purpose here
on this clear morning calling me
as usual to attention.  Do you
pretend you know me?

he asks, and what can I reply?

How can you ever pretend
to know another when
you cannot even see who
this person is that you carry
with you all the time?
Who is this being that you call
yourself?  What
is their true name?

Another piece of art inspired by Nina–her joyful birds, above.  For the poem, I used a prompt posted awhile ago by Miz Quickly, in which you take lines from a poem and write them every few lines on a piece of paper and fill in the spaces between with your own words.

after adrian close up s

As Jane told me recently, it’s hard to find a poem of mine that doesn’t talk about birds.  I used lines from an Adrian C. Louis poem “Magpie in Margaritaville”, which I found in the wonderful Tupelo Press book “Native Voices”.  I couldn’t find a link to the poem online, but you can read about the poet, a member of the Paiute Tribe, here.

Also linking to earthweal, open link weekend.

Draw a Bird Day: Mallard

collage mallard a

we decoy ducks–turn
them into sitting targets
for the play of guns,

cartoon them with characters
that ignore their balanced grace

mallard f watercolor s

I did a lot of drawings and paintings of ducks and found them to be a challenge.  Often they ended up looking more like decoys than something alive.  I was interested to discover that the expression “sitting duck” came from how easy ducks are for hunters to shoot and kill–less sport than slaughter.

2 mallards s

I also did not know that they spend 2 weeks in late summer or early fall molting, replacing all of their feathers.  During that time they can’t fly.

 

ducklings drawing s

Mallards are good parents, and prefer shallow freshwater wetlands to raise their families.  They are one of the most recognizable and abundant duck species in the world, and ancestor to most strains of domesticated ducks.

For Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.  I’ve written a tanka.

Draw a Bird Day: Nightingale

nightingale 1s

I follow you
into the dark crescendo
of sleepless nights

nightingale 2s

I was inspired to draw a nightingale by Rose Ausländer’s beautiful elegy, “My Nightingale”.

Once upon a time my mother was a doe.
The gold- brown eyes
the grace
stayed with her from the doe-time.

Here she was
half angel half human –
the middle was Mother.
When I asked her what she would have wanted to be
she said: a nightingale.

Now she is a nightingale.
Night after night I hear her
in the garden of my sleepless dream.
She is singing the Zion of the ancestors
she is singing the long-ago Austria
she is singing the mountains and beech
forests of Bukowina.
Cradle songs
my nightingale
sings to me night after night
in the garden of my sleepless dream.

 

Once again, Draw a Bird Day is holding the fort at memadtwo, hoping Nina will be back soon.

Asian Dwarf Kingfisher (Draw a Bird Day)

dwarf kingfisher blk s

tiny wings perch, still–
suddenly swoop downward, flash
trail of jeweled light

tiny wings
sudden swoop trails flash
jeweled light

wings flash
suddenly
jewels

It’s the 8th of the month again!  Draw a Bird Day, and Poet’s Choice for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday.  This month I’ve taken my haiku and reduced it twice.  This is a good exercise for any poem I find.

dwarf kingfisher wht 2s

I chose to draw the Asian Dwarf Kingfisher this month because of its colors.  It’s a tiny bird–5″–one of 114 species of kingfishers.  I did not realize this species was so large and varied.  All nest in burrows and hunt by swooping down from a perched position.  Many hunt fish–that was my impression of them–but may also, like the dwarf kingfisher, eat insects, earthworms, and small amphibians.

Dwarf kingfishers, like many birds, are under threat of extinction due to loss of habitat.  Their main predators are foxes, raccoons, and snakes.

dwarf kingfisher wht 1s

Nina gave me the set of brush markers that I used experimentally in doing the last 2 drawings (the one on black was done in colored pencil).  I am still trying to convince her to start posting again.  She’s been doing some painting…maybe by next Draw a Bird Day.  In the meantime, you can find me most of the time at https://kblog.blog/.