Nice Article by local Reporter

Our local newspaper wrote a nice article about my April Art in the Library.  Here is the link if you’d like to read it:

Art in the Library April 2018

 

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Western Bluebird

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Western Bluebird

The beautiful blue-and rust Western Bluebird is actually a small thrush.  They swoop over open fields to catch insects.  They can also be attracted to backyard feeders with mealworms.

The bills of Western Bluebirds are not equipped to dig their own nest holes, so the presence of cavities in trees or posts, old woodpecker holes or nest boxes are very important.  When building or purchasing a nest box for a bluebird, make sure you have the correct entrance hole size;  the diameter is different for the eastern bluebird.

You can read about Western Bluebird nest boxes at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestWatch site.

Woodpecker Specimen- Nuttall’s

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Woodpecker Specimen- Nuttall’s

This female Nuttall’s Woodpecker was the unfortunate victim of a window collision.  Up to 1 billion birds die from window strikes in the U.S. each year, according to a 2014 study. 

To reduce bird strikes, it is suggested to remove all bird attractants near the windows, carefully place bird feeders, or to partially cover the windows.  Remedies are available according to the Bird Collisions Program of the American Bird Conservancy. The group offers extensive information on preventing collisions on its website.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/why-birds-hit-windows-and-how-you-can-help-prevent-it/

Red-shouldered Hawk

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Red-shouldered Hawk

A medium-sized hawk, our California subspecies is rich reddish-orange on breast, head and shoulders.  The wings are strongly patterned black-and-white and the tail strongly barred.  

Red-shouldered hawks are typically seen in riparian woodland habitats.  Since 1900, their population has declined due to the clearing of wet hardwood forests.  Red-shouldered hawks and other raptors also suffered from DDT exposure causing brittle eggs until that pesticide was phased out.

Black-headed Grosbeak

 

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Black-headed Grosbeak

This chunky bird has a heavy conical bill and a fully orange belly which distinguishes it from the Spotted Towhee. Often hidden in dense foliage, they are usually identified by their rich melodious whistling.  The song is similar to a Robin’s but faster and less broken.

Back-headed Grosbeaks prefer habitat with mixed riparian woodlands including large trees, however they will visit suburban parks and backyard feeders 

Loss of inspiration

I’m afraid I’ve hit a bit of a snag in my blog for Art in the Library.  I’m having trouble getting motivated after one of my subjects died.  Our lovely pet Lucky was dying from cancer and we finally had to him go.  He was my constant companion; my home office seems very quiet now.

We miss you, Lucky.

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Waiting for Supper, watercolor batik

Quail Strut

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Quail Strut

Our golden foothills of California are a favorite habitat of this colorful quail.  The male often stands vigil on a tree stump or fence post, claiming his territory and warning his flock with his distinctive call to take cover in the underbrush.

The distinctive call sounds like Chi-ca-go!