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Category: Reference Photos

Nesting Red Tail Hawk Cam

Posted in Peeking Behind the Easel, and Reference Photos

I love watching the variety of bird cams from around the country. It is so interesting to see the birds up close. You can see their eyes, beaks, feathers, as well as how they perch, fly and sit. It’s great for observing and sketching the birds for future paintings and drawings.

This week I’ve been peeking in on a red tail hawk on the Cornell Lab or Ornithology. Here’s the link so you can see these beautiful hawks:

The mom is sitting on two eggs now and the dad flies in regularly. There are also photos on the page in case you miss seeing the hawks moving and flying in and out.

Mom and Dad redtail hawks tending two eggs in their nest Photo: From Jacquie Laughlin twitter feed via Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Mom and Dad redtail hawks tending two eggs in their nest
Photo: From Jacquie Laughlin twitter feed via Cornell Lab of Ornithology

There is also a twitter feed to the right with this great photo of both birds facing the nest and away from the camera. You can see their gorgeous red tail feathers and how they got their names.  Head on over this great bird cam and Enjoy!

Always Bunnies in the Yard

Posted in Musing About Art, and Reference Photos

I’ve written over the years about the many, many bunnies that make our yard their home.  They are still happily invading the garden and living the life around here.

Momma bunny enjoying the sun
Momma bunny enjoying the sun

This gal is sunbathing in the backyard. We are doing some reworking of the yard and she loves the dusty dirt to hang out on.

Time for your close up!
Time for your close up!

When I can, I try to catch some photos of them. Although this photo is a little blurry, it lets me see how her fur is colored and the proportion of her eyes and ears to her face.   I haven’t painted rabbits in a while, but she would look marvelous in a painting. 🙂

I Spy Signs of Spring

Posted in Reference Photos

As the snow slowly, slowly melts, little signs of spring are showing up:

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Melting snow reveals the first daffodil leaves

The very first daffodil leaves peaking up through the mulch. These below are bent from the weight of the last snow.


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Daffodil leaves

Nice to see signs of spring when it is still in the 20’s during the day. Won’t be long before these daffodils are up and blooming.  Can’t wait!!


Pheasant In My Yard

Posted in Reference Photos

Never know what will show up in the yard.  Last week brought a gorgeous pheasant!

Ring Necked Pheasant

We’ve never seen a pheasant hanging out around here. Taking a peek at shows that they do actually live around here year round.  Who knew?

Rin Necked Pheasant

I like the way his white “collar” looks like the collar of a button down shirt. His face has iridescent green with a red around his eyes.

ring necked pheasant

The markings on this back are so interesting. Comma like half circles on the upper feathers, and stripes on the lower. You can see the shine of the iridescent on the back of his head.

ring necked pheasant

Here you can see the stripes on his tail and the great oranges and rust on his feathers.  Just a beautiful bird. I was able to take a fair amount of photos right through the window.  He will definitely show up in future paintings.

Leap of Faith

Posted in Reference Photos

This morning I watched as the three baby bunnies took a literal leap of faith out of their nest into the big world.  How exciting!  I’ve written many times about the rabbits that live in the yard.

One of the rabbits living in the yard

About 2 -3 weeks ago the dog was sitting quietly, watching out the backdoor window.  When we came over to see what had his attention, we saw this:

Rabbit with dried grass for nesting

Neither of us had seen a rabbit gathering dried grass before. She carefully gathered a mouthful of dried grass from a pile of clippings and carried up the deck steps and hopped into a tall planter. She could not reach the planter from the ground, but she could by hopping from the steps into it. The planter is 2 -3 feet off the ground.

Rabbit hopping out of planter nest Here she is jumping out of the planter.  The photo was taken from inside and she moved so fast, but you can get the idea.

gathering dried grass for a nest She noticed us at this point, but kept on with her task.

Bunny nest in planterWe left the planter alone, not wanting to disturb any nest that might have been in the planter.  This week we noticed a small cave like hole.Yesterday we noticed this:

baby bunny in planter nest

One of the three babies. They were starting to move out into view – although I could only get a photo through the screen door glass. They are barely 3 inches – so cute.  This morning when I opened the blinds, I could see one leaning over the edge of the planter. That’s when I noticed that 2 tiny babies were already on the ground, scurrying under the deck overhang. As I watched, the last one took a  leap of faith into the big world and joined his siblings.   Would have been great to have had my camera but it was over in about 4 seconds.  It was so cool to able to see the big event!

Hope your day is a happy leap of faith!