The Art of the Outtake~ Funny Bird Moments!

Part of my job as an artist is to learn as much as possible about my subjects so that I can add credibility to my work.  I figure the more time I spend with the birds the better I’ll understand them and get to know their personalities.   Once they get to know me they tend to let their guard down, and that’s when funny things happen!   

On our last trip to the beach there were some peculiar moments all within one large group of gulls and terns.  They must have remembered me from our last trip because they seemed to be acting up for the camera as if they thought they were in a reality TV show.  

There were two gulls that were in deep conversation.  I haven’t seen this before and found it fascinating.  At first one was doing all the talking.  Then both were talking at the same time.  Then they stopped and howled at the breaking waves like wolves to the moon.  The conversation started up again and ended cordially.  ☺

Doing all the Talking, photo by William R. Beebe

Doing all the Talking, photo by William R. Beebe

Walk and Talk, photo by William R. Beebe

Walk and Talk, photo by William R. Beebe

Howling at the Breakers, photo by William R. Beebe

Howling at the Breakers, photo by William R. Beebe

The terns were another story.  One Royal Tern decided it was the boss of everybody.  It sought out any bird that would listen!  Some would turn and close their ears.  Others would turn and walk away.  The brave ones would stand beak to beak and take it, for what must have seemed like an eternity!  ☺

The Drill Sergeant, photo by William R. Beebe

The Drill Sergeant, photo by William R. Beebe

I'm not Listening, photo by William R. Beebe

I'm not Listening, photo by William R. Beebe

There was the usual bully in the group of seabirds.  I caught one gull on the run with terror in its eyes.  The bully gull was caught on camera but had its face low, hidden beneath its wings to keep from being identified.  ☺

On the Run, photo by William R. Beebe

On the Run, photo by William R. Beebe

A narcissistic seagull thought it could dance and I caught it high stepping and looking at itself in its own reflection.  ☺

Narcissistic Gull, photo by William R. Beebe

Narcissistic Gull, photo by William R. Beebe

Being cooler weather and near the end of the season, some sanderlings were having a small reunion before heading south.  Usually fast and active, they were moving slowly, seemingly sad that the summer was over.   

Reunion Weekend, photo by William R. Beebe

Reunion Weekend, photo by William R. Beebe

This all happened in a relatively short period of time.  I was torn between the gulls, terns, and sanderlings.  The goings-on were amusing to me then and now.  I hope you too find them amusing.  

In the end they all straightened up and flew right.  They all cooperated for their serious portraits.  These are just some of the outtakes that won’t ever make the final cut for serious Aviary Art.  ☺

Thanks for reading my journal and for following all that I am up to in the world of art.  Please check back soon to see what has just come off the easel!  


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe