Ornithologi

A studio for bird study

An Illustration of the Accipiters of North America – The Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, and Northern Goshawk.

by Bryce W. Robinson

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Adult Accipiters of North America. 16×20″ gouache on watercolor board. Limited edition prints of this image are available in the shop.

I continue to illustrate raptors in flight with the genus Accipiter. Accipiter is a rather diverse genus worldwide, with some beautiful variation from large to small. I look forward to the opportunity of illustrating each species sometime down the road. For now, it was a pleasure to create an image of the three Accipiters of North America – the Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperi), and Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). All have rather broad wings and a long tail, but subtle differences between each help create their own unique shape. Although each are unique, correctly identifying an accipiter in the field is a challenge. A focus on multiple characteristics of an in-flight bird apart from plumage details (that are often difficult to see) will allow a correct identification. These characteristics include flight style, wing shape, head projection, tail shape at base and at tip, and others.

For more information on how to identify North America’s Accipiters, explore Jerry Liguori’s articles on the HawkWatch International Blog

And be sure to purchase the following books:

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Hawks in Flight By Pete Dunne, David Sibley, and Clay Sutton

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Hawks from Every Angle by Jerry Liguori

 

Also, HawkWatch International’s Raptor ID app is now FREE. Get it wherever you get your apps!

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Fall Migration Poster Series: Light Morph Adult Buteos

by Bryce W. Robinson

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Image copyright Ornithologi – Bryce W. Robinson

Share, use, and enjoy this infographic. Fall migration is starting!

A poster of the above image is available in the shop. Here you can also get a limited edition print of the original artwork used to create this infographic as well.

An Illustration of Some Members of the Genus Buteo

by Bryce W. Robinson

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18×24″ Gouache on watercolor paper. From top left: Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), and Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis). Purchase limited edition prints here.

I’ve been illustrating raptors in flight for some years now, which really took off when I met Jerry Liguori. Jerry took me under his wing, so to speak, and filled my head with everything he himself has learned over his many years studying the identification of raptors, particularly in flight. His tutelage accelerated my skills and knowledge in raptor identification, and I can confidently say that without his selfless teaching, my illustrations wouldn’t be the same.

I’m currently focused on tuning in my raptors in flight. I am about to start some large illustration projects focused on these taxa, so I am working to develop my technique and process as well perfecting relative shape and sizes. It’s a challenge, because illustrating each correctly involves so much more than the obvious differences in plumage. What makes each unique are shape, proportion, and posture. I’ve found posture to be the most challenging aspect to capture, since this seemingly simple factor has so much power over whether the bird looks real or not. Furthermore, in flight postures and shapes are influenced by the direction and motion of a bird in that moment in time. For instance, a bird soaring has a unique shape but because of the position of the viewer, that shape may be different for each wing because of the birds posture and how wind or resistance bends the outer primaries. To understand and master this effect is going to take repeated sketching and exploration.

Purchase an 18×24″ limited edition archival print (30 available) of this illustration in the shop. Your support helps me continue to refine my illustration, so thank you ahead of time! Also, be sure to add Jerry Liguori’s unique guidebooks to your library. Jerry has taken raptor identification to the next level, and his guidebooks are a wealth of information for mastering in-flight identification. You can find his books here: Jerry Liguori’s Hawk’s From Every Angle and Hawks at a Distance

Light Morph Ferruginous Hawk Plate

by Bryce W. Robinson

 

In my continued practice at illustration and the design of guide book style plates, I took the opportunity of expanding a needed Ferruginous Hawk illustration into a full plate. I focused on a goal to illustrate light morph adult and juveniles perched and in flight, both topside and underside. I’m currently emulating the traditional plate styles you see in contemporary guides, but as I’ve been illustrating I’ve had some ideas that I may try going forward as I attempt to tune in my illustrations.

For polymorphic species such as the Ferruginous Hawk, illustrating the entire spectrum of plumage types is entirely unreasonable if not impossible. Still, I think there are some plumage types that may deserve attention, apart from the classic rusty bodied birds and dark morphs. I’ve seen some interesting individuals, such as dark birds with white streaking on the breast that is reminiscent of dark morph Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawk. I think including these in an informative plate will communicate two things, one being of course some of the stranger possible plumage types but perhaps more importantly the pitfalls of focusing solely on plumage characteristics for identification.

I’ve produced prints of this illustration for purchase, but I’ve limited them to 25. You can find and purchase a print in the shop by clicking here.