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Nov 27 12 1:08 PM

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As you come across resources that are helpful in learning how to notice, record, sketch and illustrate birds, please post them here with a summary explaining why you are sharing and what you like/recommend about it.

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Nov 28 12 4:52 PM

Field Notes on Science & Nature, Michael R. Canfield (ed.)

Each chapter of this book is written by a different eminent living field scientist or naturalist and contains actual pages from their notebooks. Taken together, this volume provides an examination of why it can be said, "Meticulous record keeping is at the heart of good science." The introduction, chapters 1, 7 and 8 may be of particular interest because they reference the role of sketching in field notes.  

The book left me wondering about one of Canfield’s introductory questions, “Are there elements of science that are more thoroughly documented when recorded by hand?”

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#5 [url]

Nov 30 12 3:12 PM

Videos of birds, 
for those times, "when you put out bird food, but they just don't come"

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#6 [url]

Nov 30 12 7:17 PM

Enjoyed the videos, thanks for sharing.

2 Sunflower Hearts Auto Feeders,  1 Shelled Peanut Feeder,  2 Sunflower/ woodpecker Mix Platform Feeders,  4 Hanging Bell Seed Feeders,  1 Hanging "bell type" Roasted Mealworm Feeder,  1 unshelled Peanut Platform Feeder,  2 Mixed Bird Seed feeders,  2 Thistle Feeders,  2 Ground Feeders with Corn and a Critter Seed Block,  2 Corn Cob Feeders,  1 Brush Pile
/LandlockedS.W. PA./Sugar/Red Maple//Pines/Rose of Sharons/Allegheny/Downy Serviceberry/Hawthorns/2Burning bushes w berries   

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#7 [url]

Jan 21 13 10:42 AM

Identify and Draw North American Birds, a Field Guide for the Artist and Naturalist.

I have seen this book but haven't used it yet, but I want to get it.  Not only does it show how to draw birds but it has a color palette for adding color to each bird.  Has anyone used it?

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#9 [url]

Jan 21 13 5:37 PM

Here is a list of useful books on drawing nature subjects.  Sorry about the formatting.



Leslie, Clare Walker       Nature Drawing, A Tool for Learning    Prentice Hall, 1980

Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2002---

Leslie, Clare Walker Notes From a Naturalist's Sketchbook (ISBN: 0395312981) Houghton Mifflin, 1981

Leslie, Clare Walker The Art of Field Sketching Prentice Hall Direct 1984

Leslie, Clare Walker Drawn to Nature Through the Journals of Clare Walker Leslie        Storey Publishing, LLC, 2005

(ISBN: 1580176143)

Leslie, Clare Walker Into the Field: A Guide to Locally Focused Teaching          (Nature Literacy Orion Society

Series Vol. 3) (ISBN: 0913098523)

Leslie, Clare Walker A Naturalist's Sketchbook: Pages from the Seasons of a Year        (Teale Books) Dodd Mead 1987

(ISBN: 0396091849)

Nature Journaling:  Learning to Observe and Connect with the World Around You

Leslie, Clare Walker The Art of Field Sketching

Leslie, Clare Walker Create a Bird-Watchers Journal:  Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-207 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-207)

                                    Nature Drawing:  A Tool for Learning

Leslie, Clare Walker & Roth, Charles E    Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the   Storey Books, Pownal, VT, U.S.A., 2000

Roth, Charles E World Around You (ISBN: 1580173063)                 

Leslie, Clare Walker       Nature All Year Long    Assembled by Greg Lecker, 2/9/2012

Adams, Norman            Drawing Animals          Watson-Guptill Publications, NY 1979, 1989

& Singer, Joe

Edwards, Betty             Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (ISBN: 0874770882) J. P. Tarcher, 1989

                                    Drawing on the Artist Within: A Guide to Innovation, Invention, Imagination   Simon & Schuster, 1986

                                    and Creativity (ISBN: 0671493868)

Mugnani, Joseph           Hidden Elements of Drawing    Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, 1974

Maltzman, Stanley         Drawing trees : step by step

Adams, Norman            Drawing animals

by Postle, Joy              Drawing birds

Maltzman, Stanley         Drawing nature

Marsh, Janet, 1953-       Janet Marsh's Nature diary


Audubon, John James

Busby, John                 Drawing Birds Timber Press, 2004

Parnall, Peter               The Nightwatchers       Four Winds Press, 1971

Peterson, Roger Tory

Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth offer these suggestions:

 from Keeping a Nature Journal,


What is nature journaling?
Nature journaling is the regular recording of observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you. The recording can be done in a variety of ways, depending on your interests and purpose. Some people prefer written prose or poetry, some through drawing, painting or tape recording.

Why keep a nature journal?
Many people keep journals to explore their own creativity and express observations and experiences of the world more fully. Some keep journals to record information and data about a place they may visit many times. They keep journals to help improve and sharpen writing skills, and in the process learn to observe better. Drawing is used as a prime record-making tool because drawing and observing are mutually reinforcing activities.

Tools to get started:
Journal    Most folks prefer the hardbound blank books that come in various sizes. Zip lock bags make handy journal protectors & can hold your drawing supplies too. 
Pencils and Pens    Pencils in a variety hardness from hard to soft.  Colored pencil sets are convenient for adding color to a sketch. Pens make wonderful line and contour drawings and some people prefer them for writing. 
Technical drawing pencils    These are always ready when you need them, never needing sharpening.

Entering Observations: Basic Information for each entry
In either the upper right- or the upper left-hand corner of your page record the following, using both written word and illustration, as appropriate and desired:

1. Date/Time. Date establishes the season and month in relation to the year. Time. Sometimes this can just be "mid-morning" or "late afternoon

2. Location. Where are you? Town and State? Park, campground, trailhead? If you know your Latitude and Longitude (coordinates), record them.
3. Weather. Weather conditions affect the activity of most living things. Record such things as  wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, cloud patterns & clouds

4. Temperature.  Scientists record temperature in Celsius. To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius: 5/9 F - 32 = C.
5. Plant and Animal List. Common or Latin names. 
6. Habitat, the general environment you are in, such as wetland, forest, river, etc.

Once you record this basic information, spend some time observing the ground, things at eye-level, overhead observation, and soak up the whole landscape you are in. You will naturally focus on the things that you find most interesting, but as you expand your awareness, you will begin to see things you have never noticed before.  Using all of your senses to make observations, use your writing and sketching skills to bring those observations to life in your journal.

Greg; Mpls, MN
Urban back yard with red and white cedars, pagoda dogwoods

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