Sunday, 18 May 2014

#531 In the field: Brookgreen Gardens aviary . . . White Ibis

Start this series with  #522,  April 16, 2014.  http://www.brookgreen.org/

Among the birds that I enjoyed photographing and sketching in the Brookgreen Gardens aviary was the
American White Ibis.  Shape is the most important characteristic to the bird artist when identifying a
species and the most distinguishing feature of the White Ibis is the long, down-curved bill.

Below, is close-up of the bird's most outstanding feature . . . the bill.

Below, are photos taken last month in the aviary and drawings from my sketchbook.

Below, the body of an adult bird is all white, the bill and feet are red,  and the primary feather wingtips are black.
Once fledged, the White Ibis has mostly brown plumage.  As it matures, the feathers gradually molt to white.
Interestingly, older birds can be a mottled brown and white.  Males are larger and have longer bills.

Below, photographing the bird proved difficult . . . They are constantly on the move, their head bobbing up and
down when they are foraging and probing the shallow water with their bill during feeding.  I managed to
experience them at rest during the heat of mid-day on several occasions however.

Below, the White Ibis flies with it's neck and legs outstretched.  I'm anxious to work with the multitude of photos
and drawings that I gathered in the Brookgreen aviary.  Studying the birds is crucial to the creative process.
When contemplating a specific pose I always ask myself:  What intrigued me most about the creature and
what gesture is typical of the individual bird?  For instance, the tilt of the head, a raised foot, etc.
I keep in mind that more is said with the large, simple shapes.  Capturing the  essence and
personality of a subject is possible only by experiencing the species in a natural habitat.

To learn more about the subjects in this blog go to the links below.

For a complete list of  the blog subjects go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on right.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


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