Jan 31, 2015

Final images of the AiA Challenge

January 31 - A bright, sunny day, a foot of snow on the ground, and the temperature barely broke 15 F.  With the wind blowing hard all day, it felt more like 15 below zero, but, because it's Saturday - we headed out with binoculars, telescope and camera and tried our luck. Three miles from home we found a half dozen mergansers on the river.
COMMON MERGANSER pair (Mergus merganser). Sharpie marker.
January 31, 3015. Stafford Springs, Connecticut, USA.
 A Barrow's Goldeneye was reported on the Connecticut River at Enfield - we searched but went home with only the Common Goldeneye on our little list for the outing.
COMMON GOLDENEYE male (Bucephala clangula)
January 2015. Connecticut River at Enfield, Connecticut.

Jan 30, 2015

Penultimate Day of the AiA Challenge

January 30th.  How do you hide a one-meter tall bird? First scrunch it down to half a meter, then make it the color of the winter marsh, then make it perfectly motionless. Today I found this heron in the same little pool where my mergansers and mallards hang out.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias). Colored pencil.
January 30, 2015. Hamden, Connecticut.
Each of the three mergansers in Connecticut has its niche.  Our merganser of fresh-water rivers is this one, the Common Merganser. This female shows the diagnostic white chin (which the similar Red-breasted Merganser lacks).
COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser)
January 2015, Enfield, Connecticut, on the Connecticut River.

Jan 29, 2015

Day 29 of the Challenge

January 29th - a day spent indoors, so another indoor selection for bird-of-the-day. A row of study skins in the University's research collection.
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris). Study skins. Pencil
January 29, 2015. UConn's Biological Research Collections.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos). Connecticut River at Enfield, Connecticut.
January 2015.

Jan 28, 2015

AvesInArt Challenge - 4 days to go

January 28th. My bird for today is the yellow-shafted Northern Flicker, related to woodpeckers, and an occasional winter visitor to feeders in New England.  The western subspecies of this bird has red-shafted wing and tail feathers!!
NORTHERN (Yellow-shafted) FLICKER, Colaptes auratus.
Pencil with colored pencil highlights. January 28, 2015, Hamden, Connecticut, USA.
Jorge spent some time with the goldfinches during the snowstorm yesterday, and chose this image for his bird of the day.

January 2015, Willington, Connecticut, USA.

Jan 27, 2015

AiA Bird-a-Day #27

January 27, 2015 - a big snow day here in Connecticut. Again, the feeders were very active, and today a kind of special happening, pictured in my drawing.
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus) Colored pencil and sharpie marker.
January 27, 2015. Willington, Connecticut, USA
Each species in our yard has its favored feeding stations and perching places. The chickadees like the "chickadee restaurant" next door to the rhododendron shrub - where this one posed for Jorge's camera.
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)
January 27, 2015, Willington, Connecticut, USA

Challenge, Day 26

Today we are preparing for a snowstorm - clearly the birds know it's coming too, as they are frenetic at the feeders.  The cardinals visit in the late afternoon, usually taking spilled seeds on the ground.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) Colored pencil and sharpie marker
January 26, 2015, Willington, Connecticut, USA
Jorge's portrait of one of our many goldfinches shows hints of the brilliant yellow breeding plumage of a male.
January, 2015, Willington, Connecticut, USA

Jan 25, 2015

January 25th - Day 25.

My bird of the day is a hawk that swooped low over my car as I drove into a parking lot. The black-and-white banding on the tail and wings and bright rufous shoulders are field marks for this species.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (Buteo lineatus). Colored pencil and graphite pencil.
January 25, 2015, Tolland, Connecticut, USA.
Jorge's bird of the day is one of the common, but not so easy to photograph, birds that hangs around the barns on campus.
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
January 25, 2015, Storrs, Connecticut, USA