Crazy Birds and the Fun of Forest Drawing


Watch me stay focused like a laser beam here, as a friendly Gray-winged Trumpeter helps me draw a beautiful liana vine draped around a tree. This was the field station pet, free to come and go as it pleased and it was very pleased to follow us around the forest all day, making sweet puttering sounds and giving us charming gooey-eyed looks. Trumpeters are commonly tamed (but not caged) by the locals of northern Amazonia, and they help keep bugs and pests under control in households. This one gently picked and ate sweat bees off my hands, too. We nicknamed it “Birdito”. Forget emus, let’s start ranching trumpeters!

 

Birdito, the friendly trumpeter
Birdito, the friendly trumpeter

 

What I was drawing when attacked by wild feathered art critics...
What I was drawing when attacked by a feathered art critic...
A head like black velvet, and if you petted it, it would purr...
A head like black velvet, and if you petted it, it would purr...

 

Birdito inspecting scientific equipment and applying for a field assistant job.
Birdito inspecting scientific equipment and applying for a field assistant job.

15 thoughts on “Crazy Birds and the Fun of Forest Drawing

  1. Diahn Ott says:

    That’s such a great video – I laughed out loud when he went for your paper, after failing to capture your pencil! What a great assistant! Wonderful drawing – and so wonderful to see you in action!

  2. PSYL says:

    Great video. Never seen an field artist at work before. You pictures are amazing, as always.

    You should give the Trumpeter your pencil and paper. Who knows, maybe it wants to draw as well. Ha.

  3. Ken Januski says:

    I am so glad that I played the video without reading any of the words on the page. It made it all the more enjoyable. And the sound track was perfect.

    This really ought to be required viewing for all drawing classes everywhere. What student could say that they were distracted, or they didn’t like the setup, or something else bothered them in the light of such fierce concentration on your part? And I haven’t even mentioned the speed of execution! I’m really not a big video fan but this may force me to change my mind!

  4. Becky says:

    What a helper! And how thoughtful he was to move your sharpener closer to you. Thanks for capturing that moment for us – love the drawing and the sounds. Wonder if he thought you were “digging” up bugs for him out of the paper. Favorite video!

  5. Julie Zickefoose says:

    Flashback. You’re killin’ me. There was a tame GWTR at INPA who did exactly that kind of stuff–he’d rub against you like a little kitteh and purr and mumble. Oh, I loved that bird. Great curassow that did the same thing–he’d let you feel the yellow knob atop his cere. This is a brilliantly cute video. And a wonderful wonderful drawing.

  6. Carol says:

    I love seeing you work (in spite of all the help), and can really see how your warm-up “banana doodles” inform your drawing!

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