A studio for bird study

Tag: otus

An Update on the Lifestyle of a Beatnik Birder

by Bryce W. Robinson

Female Flammulated Owl- Otus Flammeolus

Since my last update from the road, I have had many experiences with birds, but little time or energy to report them. I’d like to quickly share some photos from the work I have been involved with in the last few weeks. My road trip ended sooner than expected with some car troubles, putting me in Salt Lake City a bit early, but ready for some work in the mountains.

I still continue my beatnik lifestyle, riding the rhythms of the road and sleeping where I end up. This is the summer of camping and couches. The lifestyle is a bit odd, and makes it difficult to focus on writing and my art. I haven’t touch any artwork since I left California, and I am a bit unsettled by the fact.

Still, the work with the Flammulated Owls has been rewarding. I want to share a number of photos and talk about their life history and the work I am involved in, but I simply have neither the time nor the energy at the moment. Instead, I will share some fun photos, and bid farewell till a later date when the work dies down and I stop moving about so often.

Female Saw-whet Owl- Aegolius acadicus

Brand new Flammulated Owl nestlings

Flamms in the Future

by Bryce W. Robinson

Flammulated Owl- Otus flammeolus. 11×14″ colored pencil on bristol

It looks like I will be doing some work with the Flammulated Owl again this summer. I am very excited. I’ve missed this bird. With flam on the brain, I decided to put some effort today into illustrating my first colored pencil Flammulated Owl. About halfway through the illustration I was pleased with what was turning out, but I could feel myself getting a bit tired. Instead of taking a break and finishing the bird later, I continued. Needless to say the bird turned out a bit sloppy. I’m not too upset that the illustration didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. I will return time and time again to paint, draw, or sketch this particular owl. It is such a fun species to work with. Overall, lesson learned. If I feel tired or burnt out, it is always better to take a break rather than soldier through.

The Short-eared Owl- Asio Flammeus

by Bryce W. Robinson

Short-eared Owl- Asio flammeus. 14x18" acrylic on stretched canvas. $300

Perhaps the reason I am so enthralled with the Short-eared Owl is that it gives the birder a glimpse into the world of the owls otherwise cloaked under the darkness of night. Aesthetically, to say this species is striking fails to describe the image that the bird holds. Asio flammeus adequately conveys the fierce image that owls are known for. This bird has character, with its dark encircled eyes and piercing yellow gaze. When found in farmlands atop fence posts surveying the fields for prey, take the time to observe the bird, for its actions are sure to awe, impress, and tickle the onlooker. One photographer, of which I am a big fan, has taken many Short-eared pictures. Among these are the best photographs of the Short-eared Owl I have ever lain eyes upon. The man’s name is Ron Dudley, and you can check out his blog here, or simply look for the Feathered Photography link on my blog roll at the bottom of the page. After painting this bird, I have resolved to find and photograph this active diurnal owl. Till then enjoy the image I have created, and make an effort to get to know this incredible creature.