Bird Work, Bird Art, Bird Play


Wattled jacanas, Chagres River marsh, Gamboa. Painted this damp and humid afternoon back at the house from raw material gathered at the river (alligator scales, moss, dragonfly wings). Watercolor over pencil 8 1/2″ x 11″, Bateman sketchbook. 

Writing goes and goes. I’m still in Panama, working on a chapter about raptors. Which sounds straightforward until I figured out that raptors, for me, are not so much about their biology as their cultural and personal meaning. What, after all, could be more allegorical than a eagle? Or a goshawk? (GREAT book by Helen Macdonald, by the way).


Fasciated antshrike, another Gamboa backyard bird. I’m seeing more of these this year than  barred antshrike, which used to be the common species. Pencil in Bateman Sketchbook. 

Plus, this chapter has been taking  a few side-trips: on child-rearing in Andalusia, eagle-watching in Sweden, the vulture-plagued Iquitos airport. One segment on scary Danish 19th century natural history sculptures connects, I think, to another one on the collared forest falcon/spotted antbird association. There’s a story about a drunken revel in a Panama water taxi that has something to do with snail kites, but just barely.

I’m still not sure where it’s all going, but I hope it’s going somewhere good. Or at least, somewhere readable.

Happy Saturday.


Yellow-headed caracara, which perches at the top of a tall Norfolk pine in the evenings and screams thinly, in a fabulous sort of way. Pencil on Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 8 1/2 x 11.





About zeladoniac

Debby Kaspari travels the world with sketchbook and binoculars, drawing and painting in wild and not-so-wild landscapes. Norman, Oklahoma is her home base, and she lives there with her tropical ecologist husband and a mackerel tabby named Gizmo.
This entry was posted in Animals, bird art, birds, Culture, Diversions, field sketching, life drawing, natural history, Watercolor, Wildlife, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bird Work, Bird Art, Bird Play

  1. Marcella Heslov says:

    Hold on tight! Stay vigilant and watch for swooping birds. We want you home intact! Hugs and love, Marci

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. A++ Will pre-order this book.

  3. tom kaspari says:

    Looking forward to hearing the water taxi/snail kite story (and of their spare relation)!

  4. Becky says:

    Your drawings are wonderful of course and I can’t wait to read the book!

  5. Brian Long says:

    Thanks again! Great stuff. Love those Jacanas!

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