Bird Games

    I love birds, art AND learning... So I combined them all!

    After painting and drawing at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center for over a decade once a week and still counting... (Well, at least until this government shut down that is putting a cramp in my 'weekly' style)... I realized something I had learned a lot about was bird's feet... really!

    In the wild, bird's feet are often hard to observe. Much of the time they're hidden in water, foliage of trees and bushes or covered in the grass. For a wildlife painter, that means it's very hard to see bird feet or even get a good photo for reference purposes. So getting to sit with these 'still birds' up close and personal gives me the opportunity to observe and learn all the nuances of bird's feet.

    I find it fascinating to see how much the feet tell you about the life of the bird - maybe how they hunt for food, or the habitat they live in. Together with the shape of their beaks, it really gives you a lot of clues on how the bird lives.

    And so the idea germinated...

    Painting heads and feet on different canvases for a mix and match game. I've always thought it would be fun as book marks too. I'm getting to that. But for now, let's see how you do matching the heads to the feet... Feel free to put your answers in the comments below and I'll let you know how you did :)

    Match the bird heads to the correct bird feet.









    These birds were painted from life - still life ;) at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center and are all archived in their collection.

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    Shirl Ireland, Artist

    Elk River Art, Lodge & Studio

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