I love birds. In fact, I always wanted to be a bird. As a kid, I used to run across everybody's backyards, flapping my arms like crazy trying to get off the ground (which I swore I did). I studied bird wings in an effort to build my own. At sixteen, I went hang-gliding for the first time (it was attached to a zip-line). At 21, I hang-glided for real. Yup, that's me in the photo jumping off Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.
But my most precious connection to birds came from my grandmother. She kept a pocket identification book and filled the margins with notes on when she'd spotted certain birds. It's falling apart now, so I treat it like the treasure it is.
All that said, it is a joy to delve into all things bird, and mostly crow as I illustrate this new book. It will even be vetted by ornithologists, so I had to prove my salt a bit with some preliminary sketches.