The Sooty Tern

Hi Everyone!

Here is the latest picture I have completed in art class.  It is a pastel portrait of a bird called “the sooty tern”, which I learned about during our trip to Key West in March.

The sooty tern came to our attention because the only nesting colony in North America is on Bush Key, one of the islands that make up the Dry Tortugas National Park, where Fort Jefferson is located.  (It is not an endangered species; it has a lot of nesting places in tropical areas, even a few in the Pacific around Baja California in Mexico.)  However, in the course of our tour of Fort Jefferson, we learned quite a bit about the sooty tern, which really is an amazing bird.

Sooty terns can stay aloft for years at a time!  They can do this first because of their light, aerodynamic body, which means they can fly without spending much energy, but also because, for some reason, the sooty tern does not need deep sleep.  In fact, nesting may be the only time some of these birds ever land.

They are very noisy birds;  in Hawaii, the name for the sooty tern is  ‘ewa ‘ewa  which means “cacophony.”  Their normal life span is between 30 and 40 years.

I hope you enjoyed the combination nature lesson/art show!

Have a great weekend everyone!


17 responses to “The Sooty Tern

  1. The picture is beautiful!

  2. Nancy, that is a beautful portrait!!!

  3. Nancy, you are very talented!!! I like it – a lot!!!

  4. Beautiful! When I first looked at it in the email, I thought it was a photo you had taken. Well done!

    • Thanks! Enjoy it for a while; I am working on my first watercolor landscape, and at the rate I am going, I will be retiring before I get it done – and my generation does not expect that we will get to retire!

  5. Nature provides us with so much to admire – and capture, as you did on canvass. Great job. Really shows us the details when I enlarged the picture.

    • I am constantly amazed at the world God has provided us to admire, tend and enjoy and I wonder – if this world is already so beautiful, what can the next world be like? Thank you!

  6. Wow! Beautiful. So much talent. : )

  7. Maryann (JAustenwannabe)

    Wow, you did a great job on that pastel Nancy.

  8. Beautiful picture. Wish I could do that.

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