Black Storm-Petrel 3

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Black Storm-Petrel at a very ugly stage in the portrait process. I’ve laid down some course base colors and heavy shadows, but I’m too tired to continue tonight. The form of the animal has been improved (I think), with revised head shape and upright posture. (See earlier notes for details). There’s a surprising amount of light tan-bold in a bird named “Black”, but they do indeed appear dark at sea—much darker than the Ashy Storm-Petrel. I love these birds, the Storm Birds, but the Black Storm Petrel is particularly exiting for me. It has a singular quality, and stands out among the more numerous Ashy. Tiny, an Swallow-like in many ways, the Storm Petrels do not seem up to the task of survival at sea, and yet they do. This species has a recognizable flight style, with deep wing beats and long glides. A bit like a Nighthawk. They are in total command of the elements, dodging in and out, up and over the waves. They always get the attention of birders on board. Much more work ahead, but not tonight.

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