Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More paintings

Here are a few of the new paintings I put up on put up on http://cargocollective.com/MercenaryOrnithology today

Friday, January 20, 2012

Painting Dump

Here's a couple of new paintings from the last week or two in no particular order. The images have been photographed by a non-functional camera, so quality is not high.

American Tree Sparrow

Bay-headed Tanager

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Andean Cock of the Rock

Scrub Tanager

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Andean Cock of the Rock

Dear Diary,

Today I saw lekking Cock of the Rock. Due to drenching rain, there was no camera at the ready to document this experience, but I hardly need a camera to remeber such a spectacle of evolutionary insanity. The birds can be heard from a couple hundred meters away as they scream and hop about in their brilliant red-orange plumage. They chicken sized and dazzlingly colored, yet hard to find amidst the dense foliage. Once you find them, however, it's hard to lose them. They are simply, strikingly impressive.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Less Blogging More Painting

Paintings can be viewed here http://cargocollective.com/MercenaryOrnithology/

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lincoln's Sparrow

Not feeling verbose - but here is the next in the sparrow series.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Golden-crowned Sparrow

The Golden-crowned Sparrow is the symbol of the west coast for me.  It's good to be home.

Grasshopper Sparrow

The grasshopper sparrow was the last bird I saw upon leaving Veracruz, and this painting is based off of sketches I did at the time.  They are another secretive grassland species, but nothing in comparison to the Botteri’s Sparrow.  They are more associated with species of bunchgrass, so can be seen a little more easily as they skitter around. 

On the whole, the Grasshopper Sparrow is pretty common, although like most grassland specialists declining.  There does exists an endangered resident subspecies of Grasshopper Sparrow that lives in Florida.  It is interesting to note that this Florida population has a large degree of genetic variability (according to Bulgin et al’s paper Ancestral polymorphisms in genetic markers obscure detection of evolutionarily distinct populations in the endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow,) and the group’s genetic distinctness is muddy at best.  This means that their status as a subspecies is based on (admittedly well-defined) morphological and behavioral characteristics.  This is a departure from the current standard of a purely genetic standpoint of what makes a distinct population, and it pleases me to see this.  In my mind, there is more that makes a species that genetic markers.