Quest to Draw the Birds of Texas

April 11, 2014

Ever since I got into drawing birds about a year ago... I've made it my goal to draw every bird one can see in Texas. (Yup, I just said it publicly... now I really have to do it.) There were twolists that I looked at as a "master list" of Texas birds, plus I reviewed all the sightings of exotic/invasive/escaped established birds from:

1. Texas Parks and Wildlife: Their PDF list includes all the birds of Texas including birds that have been seen here that shouldn't be expected every year (accidentals), foreign introduced species, as well as some possible birds that might live/been seen here but are not certain (hypotheticals). Sure, I guess I can draw those too... why not. There are also three birds on the list that are extinct (Carolina Parakeet, Ivory Billed Woodpecker and Passenger Pigeon)... and while it would be fun to include, I don't think that I'll be drawing them in my quest...
2. Texas Bird Records Committee (TBRC) of the Texas Ornithological Society: Last updated in September 2013, their list includes all of the same as the TPWD list, but shows in boldface which species are under review for actually being documented here in Texas. Nice to know...
3. eBird: Maybe less accurate, but... I took into account 24 sightings of some exotic/invasive/escaped established birds in Texas as well.

"Carolina Parakeet" by John James Audubon

Compiling the three lists, I made a big excel "master file"... went through and notated which birds I have observed in person... and for my big quest... which ones I have drawn. 677 species total...  15 (acceptably) drawn... 662 to go! Ha.

I plan to write up a little book report on this once it arrives... but I recently purchased the book "Of Birds and Texas" by twin artists Scott Gentling and Stuart Gentling of Fort Worth, Texas. Their work was inspired by the renowned French-American naturalist, painter, and ornithologist John James Audubon, in which the twins portrayed 40 popular Texas birds in natural Texas landscapes, scenery and fauna.
"Of Birds and Texas" by twin artists Scott Gentling and Stuart Gentling
I also have two other bird art books arriving soon (The miniaturized full version of Audubon's "Birds of America" & a compilation of various artists "Birds: The Art of Ornithology") and hope to find more inspiration in them as well!

Still on the drawing board right now... a Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher... and a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

 Have a great weekend! 
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