Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sketching Magpies

Magpies have had no trouble adapting to life around humans. This magpie spent quite a lot of time checking out the bed of this truck and eventually I saw it jump in and fly off with what looked like a small piece of brick.

There are lots of magpies on campus. Many people are annoyed by their loud calls and opportunistic habits, but I find them highly entertaining. And how can you not admire the iridescent feathers and that gorgeous long tail?

A family of them live around our apartment building and I've been enjoying observing them. When we were moving our furniture into our new home, we had our front door propped open and at one point we watched as a very bold magpie stood in the doorway peering into our place, deciding whether to explore further. Luckily it didn't - I'd hate to think of the carpet cleaning bill.

It's been a bit showery lately, with the usual post-rain worms scattered about the ground and sidewalks. Today I watched as our group of magpies went worm-hunting. There was a lot of picking them up and then dropping them again, so I was never quite sure if they actually wanted to eat them or were just having fun playing with their food.

Pencil sketches of some of the magpies on campus. Sketching them is a little challenging as they never stay still for more than a few seconds. I had to use photos to supplement my live sketching.


Maureen said...

Great sketches.

Gabrielle said...

Thanks Maureen! I had awesome models.