I have SO loved the holidays we’ve had. The usual festivities have of course been nice, but what made it even more special is that both my wife and I took off the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s. Lazy days, playing board games with our son, watching Harry Potter movies…just wonderful. It was also a nice break that gave me time to do some drawing. Since I started drawing 5 years ago, I haven’t done that much…maybe 25-30 drawings? For 2016 I believe the grand total going into December was 2. Over the last week, I’ve had the opportunity to do 2 more, first a Labrador Duck, and now over the last few days, a pair of Bachman’s Warblers.
Do you sense a theme? Labrador Duck, Bachman’s Warbler, and in the past, I’ve also drawn Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Carolina Parakeet, and Great Auk. Yes, those are all species that have gone extinct. Ever since I started drawing, my primary goal was to fill in the gaps for species that I didn’t have photos for. Of all the things I’ve drawn, I believe there are only 4 species of birds I have photos for (Northern Saw-whet Owl, Blackburnian Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird). All the rest tend to be rarities, extinct birds, or in some cases, more common birds that have eluded my camera lens.
Unlike most of the other extinct ones, Bachman’s Warbler are a species that I at least could have theoretically seen in my lifetime. Confirmed breeding occurred in multiple locations up until at least the 1960s, and individual birds were seen up until 1988, when a unconfirmed report occurred in Louisiana. They appeared to be habitat specialists that used canebrakes and palmetto areas, habitats that disappeared throughout much of the Southeast as commercial forestry and urban land uses converted natural habitats.
I don’t think I’ve done this before, where I’ve drawn both a male and female in one drawing. Was pretty pleased with how it came out. I admit I still suck at drawing habitat, trees, branches, leaves, flowers, or other background elements that might make the photo more aesthetically pleasing. “Bird on a stick” seems to be my style right now!