Growing Up Barn Owls

Owlet Trio
Owlet Trio

I love birds but I especially have a fondness for hawks, eagles, and owls. Back in the mid-80’s I went on a bird banding trip through Earthwatch banding hawks and eagles from the top of the Goshute Mountains in Utah. I’ve been hooked ever since.

These four owlets (see the one with his back to us on the right?) were part of a clutch raised in Benecia, CA two years ago by Freda and Diego, a barn owl couple who’ve been residents in an artists’ studio building for several years. They used to have a web cam which posted on its own website and also Cornell Ornithology bird web cam site. I watched them from when the eggs were laid in March 2008 through their fledging some two months hence. They have incredibly expressive faces and bobble their heads up and down and side to side when they’re trying to focus on something. It’s extremely endearing and I fall in love everytime I see a new set. This year, Freda and Diego’s cam wasn’t functioning so I watched a nest box from Italy, TX.

This is a similar painting to a couple larger ones I did two years ago from the same clutch. They appear as in a fog because of the low light in the box, with colors muted and their shapes almost ghostly. Lots of pale washes and softening edges to get the foggy effect and indistinct shapes of the trio, intent on some unknown curiosity on the box floor.

Owlet Trio

Watercolor on paper

4.5″ X 5.5″


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