The lapwings are large plovers, often with strong color patterns and strident voices. Various species are conspicuous in open country in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America; but for some reason, North America missed out. In North America the niche of the common open-country plover is filled by a smaller bird, the Killdeer. Watching this African Wattled Lapwing walking about on the roadside yesterday, I was struck by the absurdly long legs as well as the odd face pattern.
Kenn Writes: Some bird painters can put down just a few lines on canvas or paper and then start painting. I respect that, but it doesn't work for me; I have to have a detailed idea of where things are going before I start to lay in any color. I recently started a portrait of an immature Great Black Hawk, and the basic drawing evolved over a couple of days. On the left here is the subfinal drawing. After putting it aside for a while, I decided to change the position of the head, make the bill a little thicker, and make a few other adjustments. I'll probably make more changes in the process of painting, but at least the foundation is set in advance.
From a state of contemplation, Kenn writes: The American Birding Association (ABA) has been an important part of my life ever since I joined, at the age of 16, back in the 1970s. The ABA was a brand-new organization then, and it served a unique role in connecting the active birders of the U.S. and Canada. Its little bimonthly magazine, Birding, was a treasure trove for me as a teenager, giving me tips on bird-finding and bird identification that I wouldn’t have known about in any other way. When I started traveling, as a hitch-hiking, teenaged birder, the ABA connected me with other enthusiasts and with prime birding hotspots, and helped to put me on a course as a professional naturalist. In subsequent years I was involved with ABA in many ways. I taught bird I.D. workshops at many of their conventions, and later I began giving evening keynote talks at these events; for a while, I had spoken at more ABA conventions than anyone else. I wrote dozens of pieces for Birding magazine, a