March 8-10, 2019: Vallarta Bird and Nature Festival
Join me in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this spring for a 3-day festival celebrating the local flora and fauna of this beautiful region of the Pacific coast of Mexico. The festival is based at the award-winning Vallarta Botanical Gardens just 30 minutes south of the city and will include 3 days of birding and nature walks, talks, workshops and celebrations. The area offers lots of activities for nature lovers and bird-watchers, including 300+ species of birds including specialty species like the Lilac-crowned Parrot, Citreoline Trogon, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Black-throated Magpie-Jay, and many others. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in this region of Mexico and am excited to return. I’ll be teaching bird sketching classes for adults and children at the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens.
Join me for these classes at the Vallarta Bird and Nature Festival
- Friday, March 8, 9:30-11:30 AM: Sketching Birds for Birders at the Hall of Flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens 300 pesos. Taught by Christine Elder with assistance from Magda Cesareo.
- Saturday, March 9, 9:30-11:30 AM: Sketching Birds for Birders at the Hall of Flowers, Vallarta Botanical Gardens. 300 pesos. Taught by Christine Elder with assistance from Magda Cesareo.
- Sunday, March 10, 10:30-12:30: Drawing Birds for Kids. Free. Taught by Christine Elder with assistance from Magda Cesareo and Paulina Trachtenberg.
Learn more and register on the Vallarta Bird and Nature Festival website.
August 2018: New Adventures in Nature Announced
Join me in 2019 for two exotic adventures in tropical nature. I’ll be co-leading wildlife watching tours to Borneo in October and Peru in December 2019 with Paradise Birding tours. Both are all-inclusive tours where we’ll show you all the exciting flora and fauna to be found in these biologically diverse areas. So pack your bags, buy your field guides, book your flights and let’s go! Learn more at Paradise Birding.
May 24, 2018: Podcast interview with Nurture in Nature
I was interviewed by Tania Moloney of the Nurture in Nature podcast. She’s an Australian nature educator who helps inspire kids and parents with fun activities for getting outside more often in order to feel the sun in your face, the wind in your hair and the warmth in your heart.
I was honored to be chatting with Tania about the benefits of nature journaling for families and educators and how it can build empathy, understanding and ultimately, a conservation ethic in those that pursue this engaging practice.
May 12 and 13,2018: Silver Falls State Park Birding and Wildflower Festival
Christine taught bird sketching workshops at the 40th Annual Silver Falls State Park Birding and Wildflower Festival, located near scenic Silverton, Oregon. Christine Elder led 1-hour workshops where participants learned about 3 different species that migrate through the area; Rufous Hummingbird, Wilson’s Warbler, and Black-headed Grosbeaks. Students learned about the birds’ migratory routes, life history, identification, and hints for creating realistic sketches of them. Here are a few photos from the event. A great time was had by all!
February 24-March 4: Birds and Blossoms Nature Sketching Holiday
Christine led a sketching holiday in the tropical rainforest of the beautiful country of Honduras.
November 24-December 7: Visiting Peru’s lowland rainforests and cloud forests on a trip sponsored by the Amazon Conservation Association, in order to sketch its abundant wildlife and plan a return trip to bring my nature sketching guests.
September 29-October 2: Attending the American Birding Expo in Philadephia where I’ll have a booth with information on my sketching holidays and I’ll be demonstrating bird sketching techniques.
September 15-17: Attending the Puget Sound Bird Festival where I’ll be leading bird appreciation activities for kids.
March 1-5: Led a birdwatching tour to western Mexico, which allowed us to donate to a local conservation organization called United for the Macaws, that educates people about the endangered Military Macaw. We presented them with funds as well as a macaw coloring page that I designed for their use in educating local village children. Here’s a link to the English language version if you’d like to share it with your own kids.
December 16: Teaching a sketching workshop in Nome Alaska for the University of Fairbanks Northwest Campus in Nome, followed by assisting with the Nome Christmas Bird Count. Willow ptarmigans, McKay’s Buntings, and King Eiders oh my!
September 28-October 2: Teaching a workshop at the Western Field Ornithologists annual conference, California. October 1, 8-11 am. Workshop title: Bird Sketching on the Fly.
Join Christine Elder for a hands-on workshop to learn quick and easy bird sketching techniques for birders. Learning some basics of bird sketching can be used in myriad ways; from giving you a new way to interact with and appreciate birds when out birding, to improving your bird identification skills, and to enhancing the quality of your field research notebook. Anyone can learn basic drawing skills and even if your drawing isn’t perfect, it’s the process, not the product that counts in learning about a bird’s form and behavior. Whether you’re out in the field, at the zoo, or home drawing your pet canary you’ll gain enjoyment and knowledge from the practice of sketching bird life.
May 8-15: Attending the Biggest Week in American Birding, Ohio. I’ll be sharing a vendor booth with Paradise Birding and sharing my tips for identifying woodpeckers and warblers through the practice of field sketching.
May 7: Teaching workshops at the 38th Annual Silver Falls State Park Birding and Wildflower Festival, Oregon.
I will be leading wildflower and bird sketching workshops during this festival held in the beautiful temperate rain forest habitat in Oregon. Visit the Silver Falls State Park website for more information.
May 10th: Release of the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America for which I created a variety of illustrations.
March 5 & 6: Teaching bird sketching workshops at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
I’m pleased to announce that I ’ll be returning to Mexico for the Vallarta Bird Festival held at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens to teach bird sketching workshops on March 5th and 6th. The gardens are a fabulous place for this workshop with its many acres of native plants set in a tropical paradise and serenaded by the rushing water of a wild river running in the canyon below. In my workshop we will focus on a quick sketching technique appropriate for drawing live birds, then we’ll venture out to the gardens to observe birds at the feeders, including the endemic San Blas Jays and Yellow-winged Caciques. Saturday’s workshop will focus on sketching woodpeckers, such as the Golden-Cheeked and Pale-billed and Sunday’s workshop will focus on sketching hummingbirds. Learn more here.
Interviews by Isabelle Rizo, of The Bella Vie:
- Travel triumphs and tragedies: lessons learned from 30 years of adventures
- How Christine Elder Travels the World and Created a Career with Her Passion of Art and Science
Audubon Society Presentation
September 17: Presentation titled Improving your bird identification skills through the practice of field sketching. Held at the East Cascades Audubon Society, Bend Oregon.
20th International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean
Connecting Communities and Conservation
Christine will be attending and be presenting at the 20th International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean in New Kingston, Jamaica 25-29 July 2015. The conference theme will be: Birds—Connecting Communities and Conservation. Birds Caribbean a nonprofit membership organization working to conserve the birds of the Caribbean and their habitats through research, education, conservation action and capacity building. Founded in 1988, BirdsCaribbean is the largest single bird conservation organization in the Greater Caribbean region.
Christine will also be attending, presenting and giving a workshop on sketching birds at the conference. She is also honored to be participating in a very special program for children at the Hope Zoo in Kingston, BirdSleuth Caribbean-Connecting Kids Through Birds, a program developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with activities specifically tailored for local children and focusing on learning about the birds of the Caribbean.
Radio Interview with Christine
June 29th, 2015. I’ll be interviewed on KPOV radio to discuss birds, bird watching and the educational value of nature sketching to deepen ones appreciation and understanding of the natural world around us. Join us at on Monday, June 29th at 9am, but if you can’t make the live broadcast it will still be available for streaming until July 5th at www.kpov.org
Artwork donation to the 23rd Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, 2015
Support shorebird conservation and education by bidding on the artwork I donated to the 23rd Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival; Alaska’s largest wildlife viewing festival in beautiful Homer, on the Kenai Peninsula of south-central Alaska.
My painting is a framed 9 x 9-inch watercolor painting of a Lapland Longspur, inspired by my visit to see this species on St. Paul Island, one of the remote Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.
March, 2015 – Working on a website redesign project for Rancho Primavera, a vacation retreat in Mexico. I am writing the text, taking many of the photos on location and creating downloadable brochures and fact sheets. Rancho Primavera is one of our favorite places to stay in Mexico, especially if you are a bird lover, Their 200-acre ranch supports over 215 species of birds, including parrots, trogons, cuckoos and 16 types of hummingbirds!