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.





5 thoughts on “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


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