Archive for December 2010


December 16, 2010

Wednesday I spent most of the day installing the birds in the diorama.  I was able to place seven warblers, two quail, one Fowler’s toad, and a hognose snake.  The quail, toad, and snake have all been extirpated from Point Pelee.  Greg Watkins Colwell, Peabody’s herpetology collections manager, suggested that pesticides wiped out the Fowler’s toad which left the hognose snake without a food source and the quail were hunted out of existence either by humans or possibly, cats.  We will create signage for the diorama that will tell this all-too-common story.  This diorama will then have an additional purpose to teach about habitat destruction and human impact on environments.  I am letting the dust settle for the day and Thursday, I will paint out repairs and we will install the glass viewing window.  Rick Prum and Kristof Zyskowski will have to critique the final installation and if there are any changes, I will make them at that time.  Dorie Petrochko wants to come back and paint a bit more on some of her birds.  here are the photos:

Installing a black-throated blue warbler model. I find that the bird carvings work better when they are not directly visible. In this case I have positioned the model behind a Solomon Seal wildflower.

Installing the prairie warbler model. I had to splice the branch on the larger branch using insect pins and epoxy putty.

Black-throated blue warbler model and taxidermied quail.

Fowler's toad by the late Dave Parsons. This model was cast in latex rubber directly from a specimen and painted with oil paint

Nashville warbler model on an aluminum wire with a grass stem glued over it.

Almost finished diorama without the glass.


Rick Prum, Ornithologist, Yale Peabody Museum

Kritof Zyskowski, Ornithology collections manager, Yale Peabody Museum

Jane Pickering, Assistant Director, Yale Peabody Museum

Walter Brenckle and John  construction shop, Yale Peabody Museum

Dorie Petrochko, painted bird carvings (Black-throated Blue Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Connecticut Warbler)

Jill Heathman, painted bird carvings (Nashville Warbler)

The late Dave Parsons, taxidermist, Yale Peabody Museum (Yellow-breasted Chat, Hognose Snake, Fowler’s Toad)

Alexis Brown, painted the juniper needles and stems

Patrick Sweeney, Collections Manager, Botany, Yale Peabody Museum helped identify and locate trees, juniper and grasses.  Patrick also helped finding the dried specimens

Michael Bobbie, help constructing the foreground

My wife and kids for help collecting sand