Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eastern Screech Owl--Vickie Henderson

I am loving the sketches and paintings I am seeing here.  There are so many talented individuals with so many different ways of seeing and recording the world around them.  It is enriching to both create art and to see how others interpret their world.  
I especially appreciated Pam Johnson Brickell's post recently that commented on the finishing of a sketchbook page. It affirmed that for others as well, the finishing of a page doesn't always happen in a sequential time frame.  In the case of this sketchbook page, I began in 2009!  It's fun to come back to a page like this, and wonder, why didn't I finish this?  What seemed difficult at the time, an indecision about where to put the light in the eyes, seemed fairly simple last night as I finished the page--a reminder that practice and persistence makes a difference.
Eastern screech owls are the smallest of our tufted owls, the ones with "ears" that are actually feathers that help camouflage them while they sleep.  This owl was roosting in a nest box and was lifted out during a nest box check.  Not the happiest of birds to be interrupted during sleep!

More about this owl and sketchbook can be found at:  Eastern Screech Owl--The Finish at Vickie's Sketchbook.

To learn more about the eastern screech owl, visit Cornell's page on this species.  Be sure to listen to the owl's call!


  1. What a terrific post, Vickie! I got to babysit one of these little guys till my vet could return him to the wild...they are so tiny!!

  2. I sure am glad you toured your past sketchbooks and finished this lovely spread. Yes, indeed, it's never too late! Great rendition. What an experience it must have been to interrupt this little one's nap time. While in western NY this summer, I heard their unusual cry in the early morning and evening almost every day. Could never find them in the trees.... When we lived there I did get to see three owlets. What fun it was to watch them bob their heads as they looked at us.

  3. He is so absolutely beautiful Vickie! A very endearing sketch...

  4. Thank you, Cathy. What a special experience to spend that kind of solitude with one of these owls. They are so beautiful!

    Thanks, Gay!

  5. Pam, thank you! I was surprised and delighted that the biologist lifted him out of the box and I was able to see him up close. Their calls are eerie, but even when you can't find them, it's so much fun to know they are nearby.

    Hey, Marie. Thank you!

  6. I'm with Pam, I'm delighted you went back and finished this wonderful spread.

    And yes, I've had some very special experiences with nature, thanks in part to my vet, Pete Rucker at the Excelsior Springs Animal Clinic. I also got to babysit a very impressive great horned owl his kids had nicknamed The Assassin. With good reason!

  7. He's absolutely wonderful Vickie. My experience with a screech owl was the Christmas I got my first SLR camera and spotted something red on the side of the road on my way home. I went back thinking it might be a cat who'd been hit. Turned out to be an owl so I grabbed my new camera and started shooting. Got right up to him and he didn't move so I sat down and had a conversation (rather one-sided) for about 1/2 hour. Ultimately, I just had to try to touch him. I spoke softly and reached out one finger to stroke his breast AND HE LET ME!!! He even stretched his head up like a cat. I finally got a stick and got him to grab on so I could move him to a big cedar tree. I later found out that when the sun comes up they just stop and go to sleep wherever they happen to be. He probably woke up that night thinking he had dreamed the whole encounter, but what a treat it was for me.

  8. Paula, what a wonderful story! That's one of nature's great honors.

  9. Wow. Yes, what a story. I was imagining a sad ending as I continued to read. What a delightful surprise! An encounter filled with wonder and tenderness.


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