American Kestrel & the Big Year

I’m a bird watcher but I don’t know if I’m good enough to call myself a birder.  As a kid I used to keep a life list, perhaps I’ll start it up again. Near my home there was an old dead tree. Within its hollow frame was a nest of kestrels. I used to watch them for hours with a camera and sketch pad. Despite their diminutive size they are every bit the predator, a more colorful miniature of the peregrine falcon. Like the peregrine falcon they are as aero dynamic and fierce, but instead of taking out ducks and pigeons, Kestrels go after sparrows and insects. I’ve formed a story around these birds and am now trying to flesh them our visually. Their shapes and colors are inherently appealing lots of colliding straights and curves. These are admiddetly rough exploratory drawings, I’m still trying to feel out how I’m drawing these birds of prey.


The recently forgotten film: “The Big Year,” starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson is well worth seeing and is centered around the lives of three very different people who share the common passion for birding.


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