Swallow-tailed Hummingbird : : Eupetomena macroura


July 18, 2012

Just a little hummingbird stamp collage for Wednesday. This amazing hummingbird is native to Brazil.

Mr. Charles Darwin and Galapagos Finches


July 17, 2012

I'm working on a new version of an older image. The last screenprint edition of Darwin's Finches sold out some months ago, so I am creating a new screenprint. This will be the third incarnation I have made of this image. It's kind of nice to have an excuse to draw Charles Darwin every couple of years. This is just the inked drawing. I'll post when we have the full color screenprinted version.

I know that so many different things factored in to Darwin creating his theory of evolution. The Galapagos finches did indeed have an influence, but there were other species on the Galapagos that probably had even more profound effects on his thinking. Knowing this, however, I still like this image of him with the finches. The finches are so iconic in terms of their connection to this shy man.

Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum


July 05, 2012

Cedar Waxwing populations supposedly have increased over the last 20 years. I am inclined to believe it, as I feel that this is a bird I would rarely see when I was younger, but now I hear its trilling, whistling calls on a regular basis. Part of the reason for this is that I live near a canal that connects to Lake Michigan. The canal has many fruit bearing trees upon which waxwings voraciously feed. Another quality of the canal that the waxwings are attracted to, is that it provides border habit. Trees bordering the water provide overhanging branches for the waxwings to launch in to their dips and dives after the many insects that hover over the water.

When I started making this watercolor, it quickly began to register as a Christmas-y image, with the greens and the berries. In the cycle of Cedar Waxwings, however, this is very much a summer image. Their diet is very reliant on sugary fruits. So much so that their breeding season is later in the summer to coincide with the abundance of fruit.

I've just always loved their coloring, and their little bandito masks. Their gregarious, active nature, gives them an air of mischievousness.

It's been hard to get outside to do much of anything here, birding included, due to the unbearable heat. I hope wherever you are it's not too hot, and if it is, you have power, or at least access to a nice swimmin' hole!

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