"Back when I was a teenager in the 1960s, my friend Mark and I were exploring some wetland habitat in Schenectady, New York, when we spotted an unfamiliar small gray bird with a loud, ringing voice. We followed the bird through the woods for about a quarter of a mile to discover our first tufted titmouse. Later we realized that the bird was a scout for what would become an invasion of this southern species. Several years later, I was alerted to a treetop spot where titmice were scolding and carrying on. Upon close examination, I spied my first screech-owl hidden in the foliage! Even though I am now quite used to this common bird at my home in Connecticut, I still feel echoes of those early moments. For this painting, I decided to give the viewer such a moment by making the titmice typically upset, and only after very close examination does one realize why -- there is a long-eared owl hidden nearby. In my paintings, I try to retain the sense of wonder that exists on first discovering a new bird. Seeing a common bird in certain settings or lighting conditions can be thrilling."
Michael DiGiorgio is a nationally recognized wildlife artist who has been painting and illustrating for more than 30 years. He teaches nature painting and drawing at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
A limited edition of 300 prints has been created in a horizontal format. The actual image size is 14" x 10", the matted size is 18" x 14", and the framed sized is approximately 20" x 16". Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. The full-color reproduction is printed on a neutral pH, acid-free paper.