Category Archives: News

Nature in a Minute: Whose woods these are…

On January 1, 2019, Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening entered into the public domain and I have been pondering the lines from that poem, especially

Whose woods these are…

Robert Frost, 1923

as I take people on programs through the wildlife sanctuary – like high school photography students, develop STEAM curriculum inspired by our natural world, and continue to learn about our amazing natural world right here in Canton. Whose woods are these…

A Great-horned Owl has taken up residence in our pine grove.

As I quietly walked through our wildlife sanctuary, through a grove of tall, spindly white pines and oaks looking for the aforementioned great-horned owl, a white-tail flashed and a “herd” of deer bounded away my foot steps. My attention was draw to a quieter, subtle sound of faintly rustling leaves and breaking twigs gave away the location of a no longer resting coyote.

Coyote, January 8, 2019

Here is a video from our trail camera of four white-tailed deer bounding across the pine grove late one afternoon this new year.

Four deer bounding through the pine grove

Here is a trail camera video from the past week of a single coyote a little past dawn moving through the pine grove.

Coyote in the pine groove

Since the New Year, our wildlife sanctuary has been bursting with activity fueled by an eruption of pine cones. Each day there is a cacophony of squirrels, both red and grey, and seed eating birds, like red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, brown creepers, tufted titmouse, black-capped chickadees, and more. The ground is covered with pine cones, including this pile near a vernal pool on the property.

A cache of pine cones. January 8, 2019.

A red squirrel moved frenetically – both eating pine seeds and remaining vigilant for predators – like the coyote and great horned owl that have both taken up residence in the pine grove.

A red squirrel frenetically collects and eats pine seeds

As a raptor hunted near by and blue jay’s mobbed the bird, a grey squirrel hung tightly to the trunk of a tree and tried to blend in until the danger passed. Whose woods are these…

Robert Frost reading Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Selected Artwork for Taking Flight 2018: Our Juried Youth Bird Art Exhibition (Part 1)

We are extremely excited to display a selection of art from our third annual juried youth bird art exhibition. All artwork will appear in this series of posts. This annual exhibition is open to any children and young adults age 4 to 18 years old. All selected entries will be on display at the Museum of American Bird Art from November 10, 2018 to March 30, 2019. Entries for our fourth annual exhibition will open in January 2019 and close in June 2019.

Come see the works on display at the Museum of American Bird Art by appointment or during 3 open houses

January 26, 2019 from 12 to 2 pm

February 23, 2019 from 12 to 2 pm

March 23, 2019 from 12 to 2 pm

Hummingbird, Alyssa Courchesne, Age 11

For art class, we were asked to choose a photograph of a bird and create a John James Audubon inspired oil pastel bird drawing. As my bird I chose the hummingbird. I chose the hummingbird because to me it symbolizes peace, happiness, and grace. The hummingbird represents peace to me because it brings back memories when I sat on my Memere’s lap and looked out as the glistening lake. I can remember looking out at the lake and seeing the birds just barely touching the water with the tips of their wings. The hummingbird represents grace to me because I am a dancer. When I look at these birds gracefully flying through the air I remember dancing on stage to the song “Stand by Me.” The hummingbird represents happiness to me because of all the bright colors. The bright colors shown on these birds remind me of spring. All of the reasons above are why I chose a hummingbird for this project.

Peafowl,Evan Whang, Age 4

Evan has been fascinated with birds from a very young age and loves to draw birds of all types. He loves birds that display bright colors, such as the fan of the male peacock. He hopes to see a peacock up close one day!

Secretary Bird, Noah Chan, Age 8

I drew the Secretary Bird because it is a really big bird with crazy feathers! I like how its beak is red and yellow it looks like a red heart. The bird looks super cool in flight. It has super power like eating a snake in one bite! I made this picture cartoonish to capture the bird crazy features!

Electric Ostrich, Brac Buffa, Age 10

The ostrich is a unique bird. It’s height, size, running speed, and attitude make it a strong competitor in the wild. I love the way an ostrich can look with such curiosity and character.

Yellow Warbler, Kaia Couture, Age 11

The meaning behind my artwork is about my favorite color. My favorite color is yellow and I would always draw yellow birds when I was younger. My bird is called the Yellow Warbler. I got the idea to draw this bird from an old book I found in my basement. My favorite bird is the Flamingo, but a flamingo isn’t yellow like my favorite color. I also looked at more pictures to get an idea of what I wanted to draw, then I drew it! After that I colored it and signed it. That is how and why I chose the bird I did.

Taking Flight Opening Reception

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Twenty creative, excited, and amazing young artists gathered at the Museum of American Bird Art to celebrate the opening of our third annual Taking Flight, an international juried youth bird art exhibition.

2018 Taking Flight young artists, November 10, 2018

We had renowned artist, Sherrie York, as our guest artist. She met all the young artists and taught a fantastic printmaking workshop.

Enjoy this short video recap of our opening reception and a look at each artwork from each artist.

Taking Flight Opening Reception

 

Inspiring wonder, creativity, and curiosity at the Nature Lab: An inside peek at the Wild at Art Travel Camp

Our inaugural travel week at the Wild at Art Summer Camp has just wrapped up. From July 9 to July 13, our travel program included a visit to the amazing and inspiring Nature Lab at the Rhode Island Institute of Design.

Campers had a close up look at many amazing natural history artifacts and were able to use state of the art microscopes to be amazing by a tiny world that is almost always hidden.  Enjoy this short video of the day.

Inspiring curiosity, creativity and more with Barry Van Dusen: A Day with the Wild at Art Travel Camp

Our inaugural travel week at the Wild at Art Summer Camp has just wrapped up. From July 9 to July 13, our travel program included visits to Barry Van Dusen’s art studio for an inside look at his craft and a short trip to Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary to paint and sketch with Barry in the field. It was wonderful to see all the campers inspired by a true master artist and wonderful person. Enjoy this short video of the day.

We also visited World’s End in Hingham, travel by ferry to Peddock’s Island in Boston Harbor, visited the Roger Williams Zoo, had ice cream at Crescent Ridge, and visted the amazing Nature Lab at Rhode Island Institute of Design

Nature in a minute: Highlights from Bird-a-thon

Getting Started With Nature Drawing: Advice for Young Bird Artists from Barry Van Dusen

As part of our annual Taking Flight youth bird art exhibition, different acclaimed bird artists will offer advice to budding young artists. The goal of the Taking Flight exhibition is to create a greater awareness, conservation, and appreciation for birds while fostering the development of young artists and sharing their work with the public. Submissions accepted March 1–June 15, 2018. Click here for more information.

Our first post is by internationally recognized wildlife artist, Barry Van Dusen, who was recently an artist in residence at the Museum of American Bird Bird and meet with the young bird artists in the 2017 Taking Flight exhibition.

 

If you’re serious about becoming a good naturalist and a good artist, start keeping a nature journal/ sketchbook to record your observations.

A young artist looking closely and sketching what she notices

Learn to look carefully and NOTICE what you see.

Young artists sketchbook

It’s more important to OBSERVE carefully and RECORD your discoveries than it is to make pretty pictures in your sketchbook.   Try to LEARN SOMETHING NEW each time you use your sketchbook

Young artist’s sketchbook in winter

Make WRITTEN NOTES along with your drawings to help you remember what you observe.

When you’re just beginning, practice drawing leaves, twigs, pinecones, seashells, crab shells, dead insects and other natural object you find outdoors.   These things do not move, so you can take your time to look at and draw them.

Draw the plants and flowers you find in a garden.

Try to draw the SHAPES you see with simple line drawings.  Drawing accurate shapes takes lots of PRACTICE!   Artists call these “contour drawings”.

Visit museums to observe and draw the stuffed animals, skeletons, and other specimens.

It may sound gross, but drawing from freshly dead birds (window strikes or birds hit by cars), is also a great way to practice drawing and to learn about animals.  (Give the birds a proper burial after you draw them.)

You can practice drawing subjects like birds from photographs, too.  Start with sketchy lines to block out the bird.

Notice the proportion of the head to the body, and the different angles made by the bill, tail, wing and legs.   The birds in the photographs don’t move, so you can take your time.

There are lots of places where you can get close to live animals and try drawing them:

Bird feeders…

Farms…

Frog Ponds…

Parks and Duck Ponds…

Zoos and Nature Centers…

Fish Hatcheries and Aquariums…

and Butterfly Conservatories…

…to name just a few.

Most important is to HAVE FUN and enjoy learning about Nature! 

The goal of the Taking Flight exhibition is to create a greater awareness and appreciation for birds while fostering the development of young artists and sharing their work with the public. Submissions accepted March 1–June 15, 2018. Click here for more information.

 

Drawing Owls from Life on Saturday April 7

Have you wanted to look closely at and draw a live Great Horned Owl or Barn Owl? Our Drawing Owls from Live program is a unique opportunity to learn about these amazing creatures in an intimate and beautiful setting. This program will take place in the Museum of American Bird Art from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday, April 7th. 

Check out this video from a similar program for homeschool students that took place in February 2018. This will give you a good sense of how close you will be to the Owls, how the program is organized, and our beautiful museum space where the program will take place.

During this class, you will sketch live owls in our beautiful Museum of American Bird Art. Discover more about these amazing creatures from a trained Mass Audubon naturalist, while you learn to draw owls from life with pencil and paper in this hands-on workshop led by a trained Mass Audubon art educator. You will explore methods for developing your owl sketch, as well as techniques for capturing depth, volume, and texture. This program will take place in the Museum of American Bird Art from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday, April 7th. 

Owls Live Festival on March 24, 1-4pm

Join us on Saturday, March 24, from 1-4 pm, for an afternoon filled with fun activities and a chance to see live owls from Mass Audubon’s Blue Hills Trailside Museum. Find out what makes owls unique and which owls you can find in your own backyard!

There will also be crafts, owl cookies to decorate, face painting, an outdoor owl quest, art projects, refreshments, and more. And don’t forget to enter a drawing for a chance to win toys, a Mass Audubon membership, a bird print, or a free week at camp.

Proceeds of this fundraiser provide scholarships for our Wild at Art! summer camp.

Please Note

  • All ages are welcome.
  • Registration not required.
  • Parking will be available across the street at Canton High School (900 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021).
  • Event will take place rain or shine. 

 

Spotlight on Wild at Art Camp: Whooooo loves Owls!!!

Give your child the chance to experience the transformative power of art and nature! Our unique camp setting—part wildlife sanctuary, part art museum and studio—inspires creativity, promotes well-being, and enhances connections to nature. We provide a safe, fun-filled camp experience specially designed to foster a child’s creativity, sense of wonder, and bond with nature. During the spring, we will be highlighting different camp sessions. First, this post highlights our Owl week, which will bring two different live Owls into camp from Mass Audubon’s Trailside Museum.

Highlighted Session: That’s Wild Clay-mazing Owls, August 6 to August 10

Do you love owls! Do you want to see live Owls up close and learn all about these amazing animals? Check out the look on the faces of campers from last summer when they see a Great Horned and Barn Owl in our museum.

Owls soar into camp again this summer! Spend the week on the prowl for owls; it’s sure to be a hoot and filled with “owly” puns.

See live owls up close, learn about their special adaptations, and create art based on the different species found in Massachusetts. You will learn different handbuilding techniques, including slipping, scoring, coiling, and more.