Hold on a minute–who is Joel Such? I don't think I ever warned you about this post. Well, Joel is a twelve year-old young birder who lives with his parents, older birder-brother Marcel, and energetic border collie Kelly in an awesome house tucked up in the Ponderosa Pine clad foothills above Lyons, Colorado. Last June, they adopted me for about ten days, which we blissfully spent stalking ptarmigan, chasing dragonflies, and jumping into rivers. I couldn't help but be impressed by Joel's intense passion for everything avian; never to be outdone by his older peers, he frequently spotted birds before Marcel and I had the chance to lift our binoculars. This was perhaps best manifested when, as we were hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, Joel nailed a high-soaring Northern Goshawk that the rest of us had completely missed. Later, Joel refused to be impressed by my greater bulk when I tried to toss him into an irrigation ditch; he dragged me in with him. Enjoy–and be inspired by–his artwork.

 This adult Bald Eagle was drawn with pen and ink. The model for this drawing lives at the Environmental Learning Center along the Poudre River in Fort Collins, CO. This bird lost its right eye due to West Nile Virus and now lives in captivity as it can no longer fend for itself in the wild.


This Scrub-Jay was drawn with Prismacolor Pencils in addition to a little pen and ink and is my most recent drawing. Two summers ago, I was out watching an unusually large number of Wilson’s Warblers moving through our property in the Ponderosa Pine foothills of Northern Colorado. Unexpectedly, I heard the distinctive call of a Western Scrub-Jay, which presented itself on top of a bare cottonwood tree. Up to this point, that species had only made an infrequent and brief appearance at our house. However, this individual has chosen to live here amongst the large numbers of Steller’s Jays and comes to our door every morning looking for peanuts.