Ornithologi

A studio for bird study

Tag: watercolor

Illustration of the Vultures of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

by Bryce W. Robinson

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Vultures of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, including the White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus), White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occidentalis), Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos), Hooded Vulture (Nechrosyrtes monachus), and Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis).  16×20″ gouache on watercolor board. Image copyright Bryce W. Robinson.

My friend Teague Scott, a master’s student at Boise State University, researches the movement ecology of old world vultures, namely the White-headed Vulture and White-backed Vulture. Teague conducts his work in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, a place with a tortured history as it was devastated by civil war to the point that little large animals remained.

In 2004, Greg Carr, an Idaho based philanthropist, took it upon himself to revitalize the park. What he undertook was a massive collaborative effort aimed at rewilding Gorongosa, involving the local people thus instilling a land ethic and raising their quality of life through employment. Among many academic institutions, he also involved Boise State University and the Intermountain Bird Observatory to provide the opportunity for graduate students to conduct research in the park.

What this effort has become is a resounding success. To find out more about Gorongosa, visit the parks website. Here you will find information on the history of the park, the projects that the park supports, as well as information on opportunities to visit. Be sure to also take the opportunity to watch the numerous videos that provide a glimpse at the natural wonders of Africa.

If you have a love for vultures, and you would like a print of this image then you can purchase one in the shop.

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Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus) Painting: A Mile Marker

by Bryce W. Robinson

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I feel really fortunate for the opportunity to illustrate and paint during the six months I’ve spent in Central America. My time here has really expanded my understanding of birdlife, and strengthened all of my skills with which I employ to communicate this understanding to others. I’ve been a bit more familiar with the Orange-breasted Falcon each time I’ve painted it, and on reflection I think it shows in each painting. This has taught me the value of studying structure, plumage, posture, effects of light, and personality in each species I illustrate. Being familiar with your subject (from field study) is integral to rendering it correctly, which means I’ll need to spend more time in the field looking at birds.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Watercolor Painting

by Bryce W. Robinson

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When I was a kid, I poured over the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). I’d spend hours near my house in Ithaca, NY, stalking this bird to get a better look. I was studying the bird, its habits and its behaviors, though I didn’t quite realize what I was doing at the time. I’d also spend hours sketching the bird. It was the first bird I drew, and I drew tirelessly.

Since I was a kid I’ve done a few Great Blue Heron illustrations and started a few paintings, but due to my diversified passion for birdlife I haven’t finished a painting of this subject since I was a kid. Finally, I had the opportunity to do so.

I look at the painting and I see loads to improve upon, but it’s so satisfying to see my illustrations as a child against the painting above. As I do, I reflect on my journey thus far in life and look forward to many more paintings to come.

Gyrfalcons in Flight Print: A Gift for the Falcon Enthusiast

by Bryce W. Robinson

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Gyrfalcons in Flight. From left to right, juvenile gray morph, adult gray morph, and adult white morph. 10×20″ Giclee print comprising three Gouache paintings by Bryce W. Robinson. Purchase this print in the store. $40 + shipping and handling.

If you’re looking for a gift for a falcon or raptor lover, or even for the general bird lover, consider this print available in the ornithologi shop. This print details three Gyrfalcons that I painted while working in Alaska in the summer and fall of 2016.