Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Owls for Life List Notebooks

I recently finished another illustration project for Life List Notebooks.  These owl portraits were a lot of fun to do and I think the notebooks turned out great!  These little notebooks are handy in the field or office and I like the fact that they are blank grid paper on the inside - perfect for bird lists, grocery lists and sketches.

Check them out at 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

More Life List Notebooks

Awhile back I wrote about a pocket notebook project I was working on, well we are getting ready to make some new notebooks and these two species just might appear on those upcoming notebooks.

Snowy Owl

Horned Grebe

To find out more about Life List Notebooks or to purchase notebooks check out 

Winter Birding Notes

I just wanted to share a few pages from my winter field notes...

If you have ever noticed small flocks of 10-30 birds that scatter from midwestern country roads as you drive by on a winter day it is very likely you are seeing Horned Larks.  

Another common winter bird is the Dark-Eyed Junco, we typically get Slate-Colored Juncos, but I recently had a western subspecies, the Oregon Junco show up in Illinois.

I always enjoy watching the Red-Headed Woodpeckers collect acorns in recently burned oak forests.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Warbler Portraits

 Chestnut-sided warbler

 Black-throated blue warbler

 Black-throated green warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Kirtland's Warbler

One of my favorite warblers - and one of the rarest! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

House Wren

A House Wren perched on early spring Saucer Magnolia branch.  I did this illustration for a donor to the park where I work.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Life List Notebooks

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been working on a new project, well here it is.

I have always kept lists of the birds I see in the field while working on different projects or simply bird watching, but I have never had a notebook dedicated to birds.  Last fall I decided I was going to find and buy a birding notebook and start keeping a life list on January 1st 2016.  Well, I couldn't find what I wanted on Google.  I found some artsy handmade ones on Etsy and some hurricane-proof Rite-in-the-Rain ones, but I wanted something durable enough to last a month in my back pocket but cheap enough to justify having a new one each month.

I found pocket notebooks for beer drinkers, stargazers, wine sippers, comic book artists and even cheese tasters but not for birders, so I decided to make my own!

Then I started thinking how cool it would be if each notebook featured a bird portrait and a cover color to represent that bird - a small feature that would keep the notebooks fresh and completed ones would create a rainbow of birding adventures on my shelf.  So I started with some herons...

Great Blue Heron

 Green Heron

 and Little Blue Heron

I also wanted each notebook to have a little bit of information on the featured species, so they do...

Each inside cover has fields for personal data...

The back inside cover has a Handy Map of Bird Anatomy and some common birding abbreviations...

Each notebook has 23 of  the two-page spread shown below - plenty of room for information, bird lists and a small sketch or two!

If your a birder or know one you can purchase Life List Notebooks at

I have a some others planned so stay tuned...