Me & Old Barney

Me & Old Barney

 
 

I'm Lila (Joa) Cancellieri, a bird nerd who loves to paint birds as if they were people. I grew up in Surf City on Long Beach Island in New Jersey and spent a lot of time in Barnegat Light, both as a kid and also later in life doing shorebird research. I can't help but to imagine a migratory piping plover as a 1920s seaside summer traveler strutting the Beach Haven boardwalk in his seersucker suit. Brants seem like they should wear fezzes on their wintering grounds as they navigate the rough, icy waters of the Barnegat Inlet. Some of my paintings are of particular birds. A well-known American oystercatcher, named T2 after the color band fastened to his leg by biologists, is portrayed as a dapper gentleman as he courts his mate every year on the beaches of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. Despite a decade-long string of nesting failures documented each year by researchers, he never failed to show up in his Sunday best to try again. Miraculously, in June of 2017, T2 finally became a dad, successfully fledging two chicks with the help of his mate!


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