Friday, June 27, 2014

Eastern Towhee - Pen and Ink

Here is another of the birds we'd not seen before we moved out to the country.  Early morning and evening you can stand outside and hear all this rustling in the woods leaving you to think something bigger than a bird is scurrying around on the ground.  They hop around on the ground using both feet at the same time kicking up leaves looking for food.  And they hop backwards when doing so.

These guys are beautifully marked with the males with Black, Rust Brown and White bodies.  The females are more brown in the body areas that are black on the males.  And the neatest feature to me is the red eyes.

Their song is a beautiful sound which I've read put to words sounds like "drink some tea" with the tea kind of going like this....... t-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-a .  Definitely unique and one easily identified as made by the Towhee.

The photo is one of several I took of this guy after he flew into our sliding glass door that stunned him for awhile before finally taking off.   I had heard the thump and went to investigate finding him on the ground.  I went outside to see how badly injured he was making sure his wings were OK, etc.  Then went for my camera.  If he was frightened of me, he sure didn't act like it.  Of course he was probably knocked so silly that he was too out of it to really be concerned about me.  After taking several photos, I sat with him and even stroked his head and back for awhile..........gently talking to him.  I knew he was OK when he started to hop away and then took flight into the brush.

Here is a sketch I've worked from this photo in my Stillman & Birn Alpha journal using primarily pen and ink with just a touch of watercolor.  Pens used were the Pilot Prera with Lexington Gray ink and a Micron Black 03.


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