I'm leading this collection of field sketches with owls by popular demand - folks love the owls! I usually keep a drawing "open" for a few days to a week as I meander about the park. I add to simple notations as a species show the same pose. Often it adds up to a confused mess. The eraser is my friend. Some drawings were worked up with color afterwards or developed in greater detail for specific projects. My favorite notations are the simple gestures markings. Maybe the caligraphy brush will be my next step. (click on small images to enlarge)
Above left in the mix is a Great-horned Owl, an irregular CP visitor not to be seen every year, but they do breed in the area and so drop in from time to time. The right sketch gathered a Great-Horned and a Barred Owl from different areas of the park. Differing owl species together usuyaly end up with the smaller inside the stomach of the other! Below, a confiding Saw-whet Owl seen low for a few days in a row, in an English yew in the upper landing at Skakespeare's Garden.
Above left, a pair of Long-eared Owls on Cherry Hill. They would ignore screaming kids and frissbess but make an alarmed face when any dog would poke around at the base of their roost. Above right, an incompleted field sketch of a Saw-whet Owl. Often an owl will roost in the same spot for days. This guy was too in the open in a busy spot where it could be mobbed by onlookers human as well as mobbing passerines. "Chirp chirp chirp, hey Cooper's, come get a snack right here!"- (I betcha that's what they're sayin) Below left and right, Eastern Screech Owls, from the batch that was introduced into the park by Commissioner Stern's Project X initiative to restore historically native species into the city parks. Red Squirrels introduced into the northern end of the park are slowly establishing themselves southward. Eastern Grey were already everywhere.
Above a sketch including a Barred Owl that was in for few day's visit. I got a kick of the shapes it would take as (As shown here) a Red-tailed Hawk would fly over head. Below left, a Barn Owl colored in using references and written field notes. Below Right, a line drawing made by tracing over the original field sketch, (now lost). I would use my apt window as a light table.
Below, without further comment are a mix of field sketches in no apparent order, just for the fun of natural history to be found in the city: visitors from afar up northern Canada and way down in South America, and those critters making seasonal homes here. Check out the links at the bottom of the News / Events page to see a link to nycaudubon, to learn more about local birds and conservation initiatives and volunteering opportunities.