Monday, February 8, 2010

A few more bird sketches

Did you think I'd stopped sketching birds? Actually, I did skip a few days because I was so excited about earth tongues. In fact I have more on those for the next post.

But back to the birds. It rained heavily on Saturday and I watched and sketched as the birds visited the feeder. The California towhee(Pipilo crissalis) seems to be better waterproofed than the House finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) who were bedraggled and seemed much more aware of the the rain pouring down.

There's a lame White-crowned sparrow that visits regularly. He flies well, but is clumsy on the ground and perching. I watched him tip right off of a branch once. He's more puffed out than the other White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) and the markings on his wings are less distinct than on the others. He uses his tail as a crutch so it's always spread when he's on the ground. The feathers are worn and shabby at the ends. He often stays in the yard after the larger group has moved on. Today he rested in our persimmon tree for a while, giving me an opportunity to draw him holding still. I've found that he could be a she. Male and female White-crowned sparrows look the same.


  1. I see progress! I salute you for trying a variety of poses. When I first started drawing birds, they all looked as though they belonged in an encyclopedia.

    I wonder if your not-so- coordinated white-crowned sparrow flew into a window and is a little addled. Hope he/she does well.

  2. These are very well done. I like how you filled the page

  3. Thanks, Elva! I'm trying to do basic gesture drawings and capture their movement. Impossible to know about the sparrow.

    Thanks, Carole, but it was Photoshop that filled the page. I had two partial pages and consolidated them. The wonders of digital imaging!