Forget those angry's time for sketchy birds

Drawn to birds: A little time and effort can lead to some new understanding and nice sketches of our feathered friends.
Drawn to birds: A little time and effort can lead to some new understanding and nice sketches of our feathered friends.Courtesy John Muir Laws
Today is the kick-off of an eight-week effort that encourages us all to get to know our feathered friends a little bit better.

Feeder Watch: Sketch runs until January 20. You're welcome to flutter down into the project any time you'd like and "feed" as much or as little on it as you desire.

It's a simple concept with just one requirement – having access to an active bird feeder. Each day you watch the birds at the feeder, you're encouraged to sketch what you're seeing. The project also ties into Project Feeder Watch, which asks people to count and report the various types of birds they see at their feeders each day.

Why spend your time sketching birds? Sketching allows us to look at the world more closely and learn to observe details quickly and accurately. The project hopes to be a marriage between avid birders who might not have the most highly-developed sketching skills with artists who might not know much about birds.

Participants can share their thoughts at an online discussion site to learn from others. The entire Feeder Watch: Sketch run has been divided into four two-week blocks that will have specific themes for participants to dig into. Sketchers are also encouraged to take photos of their efforts to share online with others and participate in contests.

Not quite sure how to get started? Here are some beginner sketching tips from the John Muir Laws website.

Okay, so get out there and load up the bird feeder, sharpen those pencils and start sketching!!! It's bound to be a happier experience than playing Angry Birds one more time! And check back at Science Buzz as we update progress on the project.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Robert Laws's picture
Robert Laws says:

You mention Jack Laws's excellent Sierra Field Guide but of even more interest to sketchers would be his new book, published in September by Heyday Books and the National Audubon Society with an introduction by David Sibley, "The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds."
Available at stores and from his website,

posted on Mon, 11/26/2012 - 5:48pm

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