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sketch: mockingbird

April 7, 2018

northern_mockingbird_by_al_lau

I see a variety of birds out the window when they are on the bird feeder. I recognize most of the kinds of birds that visit, but there is a new one this year that I have never seen before. It is rather elagant, longer and more slender than most songbirds, and it actually is staying around most of the winter. So I call him “my bird”. Interestingly, he is not afraid of me when I approach. After many searches in guides, I finally know what it is – A Northern Mockingbird. I also learn that mockingbirds are omnivorous, which means they enjoy eating insects in addition to seeds. They are known for their elaborate collection of vocalizations.

My drawing is dedicated to him. It won’t be long before the warm spring weather will bring plenty of food for him to eat elsewhere. Maybe he will sing one more song before he flies away.

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sketch: titmouse

March 24, 2018

titmouse_by_al_lau

I like to observe different birds that come to the feeder. During the recent Nor’easter (the 4th snowstorm of the season), birds come in large numbers to the deck in need of rest and sustenance. Bird feeders are a lifeline for winter birds. Essentially, birds need to consume nearly half their own weight per day to make it through a cold winter day.

This is my drawing of Titmouse, one of the birds that visits me. It is a small yet handsome songbird with its pointy head crest. Titmouse is a funny name. Somebody must have been tipsy when they named the bird.

drawing: sparrow

March 10, 2018

sparrow_by_al_lau

I look forward to seeing the variety of songbirds, like Sparrows, on my bird feeders. It is a calming routine to look out the window. I make sure the feeder is full of seeds because birds are so important to our daily life. Birds keep the population of nuisant insects in check, contribute to the pollination of plants and flowers, and simply make us happy when they sing. My indoor cats enjoy watching them too.

Don’t forget this coming Sunday to set your clocks forward one hour :)

drawing: blue jay

April 15, 2017

blue_jay_by_al_lau

The Blue Jay is a clever North American bird. Although the population of Blue Jays in the eastern US declined after industrialization, they eventually adapted and learned to survive in urban environments. They even expanded their range throughout the midwest. Without even seeing a Blue Jay, their loud squawking is recognizable. Blue Jays are omnivorous, mostly consisting of nuts, seeds and fruit in their diet, they also can eat insects and sometimes rodents.

My birdfeeders are not big enough for the Blue Jay, but sometimes they make a cameo appearance. When they do, it is treat to see them.

Happy Easter and Happy Passover all !

dinosaur_footprint_by_al_lau

I did this illustration in watercolour medium. It was fun to do because of all the sandy texture that had to go into it. I wanted to capture the footprints as if they were made recently, hence the sharp nail marks and defined foot pads.

These track imprints in the sand belong to an Allosaurus, or a bipedal theropod, from the Late Jurassic age. The Allosaurus is a carnivorous dinosaur much like its cousin the Tyrannosaurus Rex. All theropods had bird-like clawed feet although their legs were very strong and muscular to chase prey down.

the cardinal

November 6, 2014

maple_tree_fall_by_al_lau

I used to think that all birds fly south for the winter, but since I started hanging a bird feeder, I learned that there are certain birds that stick around even through the winter. One of those birds is the Cardinal.

If you are an avid bird watcher or animal lover, hanging feeders can be addicting, not to mention birds start relying on you as a source for food in their daily routine. Displayed just outside my window, I have three kinds feeders – a seed dispenser, a thistle bag and a suet cage, so that I can observe a diverse group of visiting songbirds.

In the spirit of season, this is my little sketch of a cardinal on an Autumn tree.

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