Audubon Bird Portraits

Detail of common raven wing feathers
Detail of common raven wing feathers. Audubon Society of Portland, Portland, Oregon, 12 February 2017.

I’m back in Oregon for now, and last weekend I went to the Audubon Society of Portland‘s annual wildlife care center open house, which I also attended in 2014. Since 2014, Hazel the spotted owl passed away, sadly, but most of their other education birds were out to say hello, including my personal favorites, Ruby the turkey vulture and Aristophanes the common raven.

The Wildlife Care Center is the oldest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility in Oregon, taking in about 3,000 orphaned or injured native animals a year. The annual open house and auction provide much of their operating funds. If you’d like to bid on some great wildlife-related items and experiences and support their efforts, the 2017 Call of the Wild Auction runs online until March 6.

I decided to try something a little different this year – low-key black-and-white portraits in the style of George Wheelhouse, although this is my first go and I have a lot to figure out.

So without more ado…

A portrait of Finnegan the peregrine
Finnegan is a male peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) hatched in 2000. He has a deformed foot that would prevent him from surviving in the wild.
A portrait of Lillie the kestrel
Lillie is a female American kestrel (Falco sparverius) who hatched in 2009 and was illegally raised in captivity. Due to being fed a poor diet, she has rickets and other health problems. Unfortunately, her male sibling was too sick to be rehabilitated and had to be euthanized.
A portrait of Jack the kestrel
Jack is a male American kestrel (Falco sparverius) who hatched in 2006. He was found on the ground in an industrial area with part of his wing missing and thus cannot fly. Kestrels are one of the few raptor species that exhibit sexual dimorphism in coloration as well as size – in most raptors, the female is simply larger than the male. Jack has less striping and different colors than Lillie.
A portrait of Aristophanes the raven
Aristophanes is a male common raven (Corvus corax), hatched in 2008. He was illegally hand-raised and imprinted on humans, and several attempts to release him failed. I have been told he has wild raven friends who visit and exchange presents with him.
A portrait of Ruby the turkey vulture
Ruby is a female turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), hatched in 2007. She was brought in by a woman who Ruby was following around, and although her history is unknown, she was probably illegally taken from the wild and imprinted on humans. Ruby is very charming and loves to bask in the sun.
A portrait of Julio the great horned owl
Julio is a female great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), hatched in 2000. She was raised by humans and imprinted, and due to her small size, Audubon first assumed she was a male – female great horned owls are normally much bigger.
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