Febirdary #11 Sleek

Guillemots are on my list of ‘birds I really, really like, despite having zero personal experience with’. It is a long list. So long that it would be folly to speak of ‘favourites’. It is hard to choose from 10000 species, each more wonderful than the last.

Still, guillemots. I suppose in part it’s their name, so unexpectedly exotic – only fitting for such a beautiful bird. Although some may know them better as ‘murres’. They are auks, family of razorbills and puffins. Like them, they have stocky bodies and wings that seem entirely too small to keep them in the air. However, they have an undeniably dapper appearance, standing tall on the sea cliffs as they rest on their hocks. They’re like the arctic’s very own penguins. And their heads, with brownish black feathers like velvet and long thin bills, are undeniably elegant. Some northern birds have white spectacles around their eyes; the further north, the more you’ll find. To me they are even more beautiful than their black-headed counterparts.

– Coloured pencil and fineliner on brown toned paper, 14,8 x 21 cm