Thursday, March 21, 2013


I was walking along the Mokelumne River just downstream of the Camanche Dam when I first saw a male phainopepla. It was a shiny bird with dark purplish hue. It was an unmistakable sight. I never figured out why this bird has a Greek name (which basically means "shiny robe" in reference to the male plumage) while most other species do not.  I guess I am still learning how ornithology works.  This watercolor painting depicts the male and female of the species.

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