I first published this post a year ago. It was a bird that I had wanted to see for years. It found a home and will be on its way to Pennsylvania tonight. I’ve not carved little birds much lately….but I’ve plans for a significant project made of many little birds. Stay tuned.
The Blackburnian warbler has been suggested as a carving subject many times. A quick glance at any field guide confirms that it is a great candidate. The contrast between the blacks and yellows and oranges makes this bird one of North America’s most beautiful warblers.
The striking paintings in my Sibley and Peterson field guides moved me, but until I have seen or heard or experienced a bird it is out-of-bounds to carve.
That all changed on June 22, 2014. Had just completed a very difficult carry around Raquette Falls in the Adirondacks. I expected to camp at the falls, but drawing from some deep reservoir — that I would get to know better over the next few weeks — I loaded my boat and pushed on to a lean-to near Stony Creek.
Here I collapsed. I unloaded my gear into the lean-to and pulled the boat ashore. I sat amongst the gear and fell into a deep sleep.
I awoke to the sound of a bird sifting through the leaf litter in front of the lean-to. I turned my head to see a Blackburnian Warbler nearby. Without disturbing him I watched for several minutes as he searched for a late afternoon meal.
This bird is carved from white pine, has brass tack eyes and steel wire legs. The base is made from antique wood reclaimed from crates and a white birch twig gathered on my canoe trip. 4 1/2″ l x 3″ w x 5 1/4″ t.