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#21 [url]

Nov 29 12 9:08 PM

I want to slow down, especially when out in the field & REALLY look closely at the bird. Sketching will help with recall. I've known it is a good idea to carry a little journal on bird walks, but haven't done it. Hopefully, this practice will give me a boost.

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#22 [url]

Nov 30 12 7:40 AM

@Beck -- Cooper's Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks look very, very similar but for size and some minor details (such as the shape of the tail at the bottom). Size alone is a tricky way to distinguish, because the bigger SSH's can be as big as the smaller CH's. This one was about the size of a crow, so it's a pretty good bet to be a CH, especially paired with the way his belly stripes fade out toward the bottom, so I'm reasonably confident in the ID -- but I'm not very good with the hawk IDing yet in general, hence the caveat.

Here's a page that helped immensely with some of those little details (because my usual book, the Nat'l Geographic Birds of N. America, was failing me): http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/accipiterIDtable.htm

Also, I've found any juvenile bird will give more trouble than the adults (not just hawks), simply because they tend to all be browns and creams and greys of some sort, with many fewer distinct identifying marks. It's like they're trying to hide or something. :-)

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#24 [url]

Nov 30 12 6:53 PM

@napacheryl, welcome to PFW: Sketch. You know, at first I thought there was a connection between your hope to "slow down" and what emtrix and Elizabeth's expressed in their earlier posts. Then I realized maybe your hope was more like mambird's post, with the emphasis to "REALLY look closely at the bird." 
Perhaps it is a little of both? What do you think?

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#25 [url]

Nov 30 12 7:03 PM

@Elizabeth -- You're right, that was a great discussion, thanks for pointing me to it! And bonus, it confirmed my ID of my own neighborhood visitor as well. :-)

I've heard from more serious birders than I that both Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks are among those predators commonly attracted by feeders due to the mass of small birds that they hunt; I haven't observed a lot of them in our yard here, but I suppose that doesn't mean they don't sneak through periodically. I most often see the seed eaters. Well, and once about 1/2 a dozen vultures on the neighbor's roof, that was cool. :-)

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#26 [url]

Nov 30 12 8:12 PM

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@hazel - How has it been so far to sketch? Is it faster? Do you notice anything different than with your writing?  Or is it too soon to tell?

-feedersketch

I'm hoping it's just too soon to tell cuz it sure isn't faster, yet!  LOL  I need to practice getting the body shape down quickly so I can add the field marks--but when I tried it, I ended up having to draw the bird twice to get two different angles to fit in everything I wanted to make note of.  I'm almost beginning to think that a ventral view and a dorsal view (both similar though pretty unrealistic outlines) might be my best bet for getting things down quickly, but we'll see what happens when I get a chance to try again. 


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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#27 [url]

Dec 1 12 2:06 PM

Oy, I've made another discovery.  I'm too anal to just work on one small detail or just throw some field marks into a basic bird outline.  If I draw one detail, I am compelled to draw them all...  I may never get to the point where sketching will be faster than scribbled notes.  o.o 


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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#28 [url]

Dec 1 12 6:31 PM

I just signed up and sat outside doing the feedersketch exercise. What I have learned is that I am very slow and I have no idea how to draw a realistic bird! In my first attempt I tried to draw a tuftie but it came and went so fast all I had was the black mark from the bill to the top of its head before its crest-I didn't even get its eyes! I have a few other birds and will still upload this to the feedersketch post as I really have nowhere to go but up! I do have a recommendation based on this experience. While it is optional to do any or all exercises, I would suggest beginning with "Playing with tools" so that you get the most comfortable equipment to arm yourself with. Next, "Basic shapes" then "Basic bird shapes". I found that I consistently drew an oval for the body, circle for the head and triangle for the beak even without doing these exercises first so getting a chance to practice them first would probably have been beneficial. After getting down the bird shapes, then do "Feedersketch" and then "Draw a bird". I would say to do feedersketch first for those who have limited experience with birding so that you'll have some time observing the birds before trying to draw them from memory. Finally, move onto the more challenging exercises-"Drawing to see" and "Gesture drawings". This is my game plan for the first stage and I hope other rookie sketchers out there will find it usefulsmile

As for what I hope to get out of this program, learn how to sketch effectively! I know how to describe what I see verbally because I've been doing it for so long now (trying to explain to someone where a bird is when looking through binoculars or verifying what each person sees) but I would really like to be able to sketch a few quick details for tricky birds such as sparrows. I'm not looking to work miracles in my drawing abilities but would LOVE to be able to translate my words into sketches.






In Ashland, OH. No feeders (boo starlings and house sparrows) but near a small creek, nice mix of trees in area but hardly any flowering plants. Most gardens decorated with shrubs.

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#30 [url]

Dec 4 12 5:09 PM



@hazelrunmama, in regards to feeling the need to capture all the details, check out Elizabeth's post about finishing drawings
By the way, I love your proposed strategy of capturing details by drawing a ventral and dorsal view of a bird. Hopefully the birds will cooperate with you. I look forward to seeing your drawings and hearing more about how this strategy worked for you. :) 

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#31 [url]

Dec 4 12 6:27 PM

@nicole_h -- So glad to have you here.  Do you live near us here in Durham?  I can't wait to see your sketches, especially if you have nowhere to go but up.  You aren't alone, btw. All of the facilitators and several of the other participants are new to drawing birds.  

And thanks for the feedback on our activities.  I'll be sure to revisit the ordering of stages 2-4 and indicate to folks that any order you want to do the activities in is the right order for us.

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#32 [url]

Dec 6 12 10:49 AM

Hope to improve both my sketching skills and bird identification skills. Currently I don't sketch and I'm an advanced beginner on bird ID.

palbin in St. Paul, MN

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#33 [url]

Dec 6 12 11:57 AM

Beck I tried to do those wave lines you have on that big bird and had a hard time keeping them even and spaced.  Reminded me of penmenship class back in 62.  lol   I did a few of them on my paper today.  Earthquake more like it.  Ginny H.  

Ocean Co. South NJ Walled patio 10 Crape Myrtle, Pine forest and bushes oak cherry lawn pond. one seed feeder, one suet, 4 hummingbird feeders, one sock.

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#34 [url]

Dec 6 12 12:00 PM

Al my husband looked over my shoulder to check out my sketching and pointed out in his ******
That the pot for the plant should have the same angel of view at the feeder.  (I guess since he made the feeder he has a say in how it is sketched. ) lol  Well as he showed me and rubbed his finger over the paper it smudged.  So he is kicked out of the class and I am changing my seat.  lol  Ginny H. 


Click here to view the attachment

Ocean Co. South NJ Walled patio 10 Crape Myrtle, Pine forest and bushes oak cherry lawn pond. one seed feeder, one suet, 4 hummingbird feeders, one sock.

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#35 [url]

Dec 6 12 4:52 PM

hehehe  Too funny, Ginny! 


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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#36 [url]

Dec 9 12 1:27 PM

 Usually I like to identify wildflowers because they hold still, but I have always wanted to know more about birds, and even though I am not at all an artist, this project is helping me to look closely at all different sorts of things about the birds around me. The biggest challenge so far is keeping the feeder filled.  
Thanks for this opportunity to learn by doing.

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#39 [url]

Dec 14 12 11:47 PM

    [image]
@nicole_h -- So glad to have you here.  Do you live near us here in Durham?  I can't wait to see your sketches, especially if you have nowhere to go but up.  You aren't alone, btw. All of the facilitators and several of the other participants are new to drawing birds.  

-feedersketch

@Beck, I live in Gastonia (outside of Charlotte) so I am just down the road. I have not been to the museum and I've heard good things about it so a trip may be in my near future. I've been practicing but just hadn't had a chance to post-finals week! Anyways, off to post my efforts thus far!






In Ashland, OH. No feeders (boo starlings and house sparrows) but near a small creek, nice mix of trees in area but hardly any flowering plants. Most gardens decorated with shrubs.

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#40 [url]

Dec 16 12 12:22 PM

Something I didn't expect to get out of the Feedersketch project happened yesterday at the Science Musuem of Minnesota.  I am usually very shy and unwilling to try something I'm not good at in front of other people, but while I was sketching at the event yesterday afternoon, I didn't even think about the people wandering by, sometimes looking over a shoulder.  My sketches and my birding are very much novice, but I didn't mind at all, because I was enjoying learning and trying something new. Thank you!

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