Artists for Conservation

Flag Expedition

A Kakapo Adventure

Artists for Conservation

kakapo-natural

In early February 2011, I was between bird patients on a busy and slight irritating day at Arizona Bird Clinic. I needed to check email for some pending lab work on a little patient. I saw a message from the Kakapo Recovery Team. Naturally I thought they were asking for money...

Flag Expedition #13. Nigel Shaw Road Trapping for Raptors

Artists for Conservation

March 18, 2012 - "We spend more time road trapping the raptors. We are seeing lots of Amur Falcon and Lesser Kestrels. Steppe buzzards are not responding well to our trapping techniques. We caught and banded two, but lots more around as they are nearly ready to start their northward migration and will probably stop eating.

Peak Hours of a Flag Expedition – The Sea Seals of Lake Baikal

Artists for Conservation

Flames shot into the air and bright sparks twinkled into the night sky as I tossed another arm load of Siberian larch and pine onto the growing campfire. To my new Russian friends this was more like a bonfire, but for me, with the resinous branches on the fire and its showers of sparks, it became a fireworks celebration for this Fourth of July evening [America's holiday of independence]. And I mused that there was lots to celebrate since I could hear the nerpa colony slapping the water as I gathered wood on the bluff above camp.

Ensnared – How Painting Snares got me Tangled in Conservation Issues

Artists for Conservation

Since returning from my stay at the Painted Dog Conservation project (PDC) in Zimbabwe during AFC's 5th Flag Expedition, I had wanted to create a conservation-themed painting. The population of Painted Dogs (African wild dogs) near Hwange National Park in northwestern Zimbabwe has been decimated by snares, illegally set to catch antelope and other game for food.

The Way of the Dodo

Artists for Conservation

My 2009 AFC flag expedition to Mauritius "Not the way of the Dodo" drew the attention to tragedy of extinction of which the Dodo is its unfortunate icon. Much has been written about this enigmatic bird so it is hard to mention something about it that nobody else already did. But I will try to do that in this blog, looking at the Dodo from an artist's point of view. For those who don't know this: Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean and the only place on earth where the Dodo lived.

My Feathered Friends: “Spix and the Spix’s macaw”

Artists for Conservation

This is a painting of the beautiful blue Spix's macaw Cyanopsitta spixii, and  the only species in its genus which makes it monotypic. The painting was part of the 2009 AFC exhibit held at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in New Jersey.

My Feathered Friends: Maintaining Everyday Backyard Relationships

Artists for Conservation

This morning I woke up to the ear piercing pulse of the Starship Enterprise's "red alert" alarm. Apparently I watched a lot of Star Trek during the formative years of Hoover's life. (Yeah, yeah, I'm a closet Trekky). Brad and I often wake up to the sounds of crows cawing, ambulance sirens screaming or the melodic song of a cardinal....all coming from the kitchen. The culprit is Hoover, our chatty, captive-raised, 20 year old Congo African Grey Parrot.

Mission accomplished! - almost

Artists for Conservation

Dec 9th - Well, one would think we would be slowing our pace in preparation for our return trip but no so.
Jeff Whiting has a really exciting meeting this morning with the United Nations Environment Program here in Nairobi. We are hoping that, before long, Artists for Conservation Foundation might develop a working relationship with the UN.

Elephants & Mount Kenya

Artists for Conservation

Dec 8 - For some reason I couldn't sleep (maybe it was the scotch) and woke early this morning while it was still dark. The Tree Hyrax and Spotted Hyenas where still sounding off nearby. The night was still and the stars were bright, different from most all our previous nights in the Aberdares that were cloudy and overcast. All others were asleep so, without a sound to disturb them, I stepped out on the veranda in the cool night air. It was a beautiful night and I was sad to remember that today we would start our return to Nairobi and the long trip home. Our expedition was nearly over.

Rhino Retreat

Artists for Conservation

Dec 6th - After an early breakfast we headed out for a game drive in the park. The birds here are unbelievable!! Rosse's and Hartlaub's Touraco sailed across our path with bright red wing patches glowing in the morning sun. Overhead both Marshall Eagle and African Crested Eagle circled. These are big birds of prey! Marshall Eagle is big enough to take small antelope and the Crested Eagle will take monkeys. They are both magnificent birds. New mammals for me were Suni, a tiny little forest antelope (Marshall Eagle food) and Giant Forest Hog. The forest hog is really big.

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