Falcons of the world: Madagascar Kestrel

This small and mighty falcon is about the same size as the American kestrel. It’s endemic to Madagascar and the atoll of Aldabra.
It prefers open country to forest, and has benefitted from deforestation, nesting under the eaves of homes in populated areas.
They usually still hunt from a perch. While they will take mice and small birds, insects comprise 75% of their diet.

Thank you for looking at and learning about these wonderful birds with me.

How to carry maps in bicycle baskets.

Or better, what to do with them when you get home. (If it stayed in the basket).

I picked up this map then I learned about some new-to-me warblers from every continent (besides that super cold one). And I put them to page one after another. It was a nice Sunday afternoon of records on the old Victrola and the window open for the wind to get in and make some pages dance.

Oh and for you folks keeping score at home:

1. Asia: Lanceolated Warbler

2. Australia: Spectacled Warbler

3. North America: Yellow-Rumped Warbler

4. South America: Rufous-Capped Warbler

5. Europe: Grasshopper Warbler

6. Africa: Melodious Warbler

drawing new borders?

drawing new borders?



Between the pencil sketched branches and obscure references.

My warblers for Walt project progresses with the finishing of the pencil work for the last 8 species. The names of the species are tucked under the feathers I’m certain you can decipher my encrypted handwriting by now if you choose. Hell, I’ll help you out, my handwriting gives me a damn headache…

Red-faced and Mourning Warblers.

Red-faced and Mourning Warblers.

Yellow and Hermit Warblers.

Yellow and Hermit Warblers.

Kirtland's and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Kirtland’s and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Common Yellow-throat and American Redstart.

Common Yellow-throat and American Redstart.

His job is to shed light, not to master….

Warblers for Walt.

I like going to concerts for so many reasons. One of them is that I find ideas for art projects between the notes. At a concert in SF last week I got the idea of 10, 8×10 pieces of wood with two warblers on each. In acrylic this time versus my watercolors before. The watercolor warblers taught me so much about the medium, It is my hope this project will yield the same with my work in acrylic. I chose 20 of my favorites to paint and paired them up by color contrast and in the case of one (I’m sure you can guess which) by name. This project is dedicated to my little nephew Walt.




Warblers for Rachel.


It’s not often you can pin-point a creative breakthrough by looking through a drawer full of receipts, notes, and sketches.
I found this a few weeks ago while cleaning out my file cabinet (cardboard box in closet).
My sister painted it and included it with a letter she wrote me.
I remember the first time I saw the painting and thinking to myself, about how much I wanted to be able to make pen/watercolor creations like hers.
My partner in crime since my first days, long I have looked up to her. She has always inspired me to look for my best and always get up when I have fallen.

Warblers for my sister and best friend no matter the miles between us.

A farewell to…

Finding ghost birds in the grain, while walking home in the rain.

And an ending hand written by Hemingway.


I had originally planned on using this piece of wood for a hawk drawing. After several sketches none of which proved up, I cleaned the surface and started anew. The Warbler shape is always a good go-to. I used a similar approach as the recent large hawks in flight. Leaving openings to let the wood do some of the talking.

Sketches of California (Not Spain).

Somewhere California, USA.

Somewhere California, USA.

I cut up a piece of cold-press board to do some smaller drawings. This one, inspired by a recent bike ride around my town in Ca. central coast.

I got my warblers framed and on my wall. They’ve been wrapped up in plastic in my closet since I finished them. While its a far cry from a public gallery, they’re up in the light, and after all that’s what this blog is all about. And where else can you see 30 species of warblers next to Katy Perry and a Van Gogh print? Damn right.

Wall of birds and pop music.

Wall of birds and pop music.



How to sit on a chair in California and draw birds.

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Tonight I finished my 5 plates of Warblers. After I finished I went out for a bike ride in the night. I rode through town and out past some cow pastures. On my way I saw a great big Barn Owl on the wing. It flew silent over an empty lot. It seems like when a project or journey ends there’s some kind of remorse, but that owl reminded me my journey has just begun.

Red-Tail Hawk in flight as it progresses on the page.

Red-Tail Hawk in flight as it progresses on the page.

I’ve all ready started a few more birds of prey, like the Red-Tail shown here. I plan on making a series of various birds of prey in flight over then next few weeks.

Thank you for stopping by and joining me on my adventure in bird illustrations/life.