Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ravenous 4


Ravens belong to the Corvid family, which also includes crows, jays and magpies. Corvids have high cognitive ability, and both Crows and Ravens can be taught to talk and can even recognize faces.

Ravens are acrobatic fliers, rolling and somersaulting in aerial stunts like birds of prey. Young birds play games with sticks, repeatedly dropping, and then diving and retrieving them in mid-air. One bird was seen flying upside down for a half-mile.

Inquisitiveness and intelligence earn Ravens a prankster reputation. They've been known to create power outages on power lines, foul satellite dishes, peel radar-absorbant material from a California Weapons Center, peck holes in airplane wings, invade camp tents and steal golf balls.

Ravens appear in the mythology of ancient and indigenous peoples and cultures throughout the world. The oldest known Common Raven lived 17 years.

Thanks to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Cool Facts.




Monday, May 19, 2014

Ravenous

There's renewed interest in my ravens, so I've begun a series of four. Here's the first two. Sometimes I think I'm losing it -- I see the reflection of my own face in the top raven's eye.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm exhibiting now at The Collector Gallery, Berkeley



Nine bird paintings from two series: Birds with Attitude and Endangered Beauty. Show runs February 23rd through March 28th with reception on Friday, March 14th.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Birds with Attitude: Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle is a magnificent bird of prey with a 6 foot wingspan. They mate for life, reuse the same large nest year after year and may live to 32 years.

The East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area has one of the world's largest nesting populations of Golden Eagles. Yet development continues to challenge eagle habitat, and wind farms at Altamont Pass continue to kill eagles and other raptors at an alarming rate.

Lead ammunition is also a significant factor in Golden Eagle mortality when the birds eat carcasses and prey contaminated by lead bullet fragments. AB711, a lead ammo ban in California (thank you, Governor Brown!) will take effect in 2019, providing plenty of time for hunters to switch to other forms of ammunition.

See a Golden Eagle in slow-motion flight:
http://youtu.be/aM0JMoGABgk

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Endangered Beauty . . . Elf Owl

The world's smallest owl, the Elf Owl is the size of a sparrow with a 9-inch wingspan. Found in both riparian and arid habitats of Southwestern U.S. and Central Mexico, Elf Owls inhabit tree cavities, abandoned woodpecker holes and saguaro cactus. Identified by its poodle-like yapping song, Elf Owls feed on invertebrates such as moths, crickets and scorpions. When threatened, Elf Owls play dead until danger has passed. Elf Owls live three to six years.

See nesting Arizonan Elf Owl and two owlets:
http://youtu.be/FHcXI7abj8o


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm exhibiting in the California Wildlife Show

I have two bird portraits in this show. Need a good excuse to get out of town and visit Half Moon Bay and the coast? It's beautiful and not that long a drive if you avoid commute hours.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Endangered Beauty . . . Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak breeds in the Eastern United States among conifers and deciduous trees. They occasionally visit California and other Western states and migrate to Central and South America.

Beneficial to farmers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks consume many destructive insects and are known as potato-bug birds in Colorado.

Unfortunately, Eastern populations are declining. Their song sounds like an American Robin in an especially good mood:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NixrHvecZ8c