A studio for bird study

Tag: conservation

Intermountain Bird Observatory’s Long-billed Curlew Study

by Bryce W. Robinson


I was fortunate to tag along with Jay Carlisle and the IBO crew yesterday afternoon to trap and outfit a female Long-billed Curlew- Numenius americana, with a GPS transmitter. IBO has been tracking Curlews for a little over a year now, with the focus of understanding their movements and why there has been a general population decline.

This is a great project, headed by a great institution. I encourage everyone to take a moment to learn about the effort and consider supporting the work of IBO.

The Long-billed Curlew is an exceptional bird. Let’s do our part to make sure it has a future in the changing west.

LEARN MORE, and CONTRIBUTE! Do so on IBO’s Curlew Homepage  

Long-billed Curlew nest

Long-billed Curlew nest

Male American Kestrel for Conservation

by Bryce W. Robinson

Male American Kestrel- Falco sparverius. 11X17" Prismacolor on bristol.

Male American Kestrel- Falco sparverius. 11X17″ Prismacolor on bristol. Copyright Bryce W. Robinson

I illustrated this male American Kestrel for a silent auction to benefit my local National Audubon Society Chapter, Golden Eagle Audubon here in Boise, Idaho. Let’s hope this illustration gleans some monetary attention.


New HawkWatch International Shirts, Featuring My Artwork

by Bryce W. Robinson

HWI new shirts

HawkWatch International recently released a few shirt designs featuring artwork of mine. My friend Mike Shaw had the great idea for a design that took a field guide type format, and put it on the shirt. The shirts feature two Buteos, the Red-tailed Hawk- Buteo jamaicensis, and the Rough-legged Hawk- Buteo lagopus. These illustrations feature callouts that give the viewer a few key tips at identifying the bird. I love the idea, and the shirts turned out great.

A little background on the development of one shirt, the Red-tailed Hawk, might be interesting to some. I really love this illustration for its purity. While counting the raptor migration last fall on the Goshutes Raptor Migration Site in eastern Nevada, I had plenty of time in the evenings to sit by candle light and draw some of the things I saw that day. This illustration was done at nine thousand feet, on the top of a mountain, in the middle of the magic of migration, by candle light. It makes it more special to me, and I hope those that now know where that illustration was born, might enjoy it all the more. I love things with a story attached.

Here are a few images of the illustration on the mountain:

The inception of the illustration

The inception of the illustration

The result, with a splash of the candle light that helped create the image

The result, with a splash of the candle light that helped create the image

If you would like to check out the shirts, or would like to buy any HawkWatch International merchandise follow the link below:

New Shirt Designs Featuring the Art of B William Robinson

HawkWatch International is an incredible organization. I encourage you to support them by purchasing one of their new items. To be transparent, I do not benefit financially from the sales of these shirts. I simply want to see more people joining conservation initiatives. It would be neat to meet someone on the road that I didn’t know from Adam, garnished in one of these shirts, supporting and spreading the good will of conservation, and of course the knowledge and fun of raptor ID.

Ardea alba- The Great Egret

by Bryce W. Robinson

The world is saturated with paintings of the Great Egret, and for good reason. I myself have always made plans to paint the bird, but I never made the effort for fear of falling short of producing an image that truly captures the beauty and grace of the fine creature. Finally, I felt comfortable with giving a go at painting my first Great Egret.

The all white egret juxtaposed against any landscape is stunning. Evolutionarily speaking, it makes little sense why any animal would want to wear plumage of piercing white, unless perhaps their habitat was a snow covered ice land. Thriving in tropical climates, the Great Egret defies any sensible survival strategy and boldly stands out as a symbol of the grace and allure of the avian world.

Deep in the mangroves, a bird studies the shallows. Calm and steady, with long flowing plumes, the beauty of the Great Egret stabs through the shadows. Densely covered forests filter the light, creating a dark world of wonder. Sunlight filters through the shrubbery, and the bright white plumage of Ardea alba shines with vitality. An image of elegance preserved in time, preserved through time.

The Great Egret, Ardea alba. 18x24" oil on stretched canvas. Original not for sale.

Preserved is precisely the word. Saved from the lustful commodification of the new America, the Great Egret now stands as a symbol of what is that might have been lost. Plume hunters at the turn of the 19th century sought after the long white decorative feathers that the egrets wear in breeding season. The stunning feathers adorned the hats of many wealthy women, who served as eyesores against the beautiful white decorations worn upon their heads.

How such a creature could be disrespected leaves me grasping. I have never been able to pass an egret without stopping, stepping back, and paying homage to its exquisite nature. I now see the Great Egret as the powerful symbol that through sacrifice and near extinction, awoke humanity to their destructive nature, resulting in the birth of the conservation movement. No wonder the bird is chosen to accent the National Audubon Society’s logo. Their name reflects their human heritage, and their symbol reflects their avian awakener.

It is nearly the first of January, and multiple reports have come of these birds in the marshlands of the Great Salt Lake. If you have never seen a live egret, make a diligent effort to do so. Perhaps when it is found, it will awaken you much like it awakened America. Perhaps you will see the elegance, the beauty, the allure, and the importance of the natural world.