Dovekie - Alle alle

This is part two of the previous post. It is the second of two paintings that were commissioned from the same person. I had never heard of a Dovekie before. Doviekies belong to the Alcid family which also includes other seabirds such as, auklets, murres, and puffins. They spend their lives at sea, only coming ashore to breed. It can be found flying low over the North Atlantic, and breeds in the high arctic, especially areas of Greenland. They're stocky, medium-sized birds with small wings. Its sometimes neckless, chunky appearance earned it the nickname of Bull Bird from Newfoundlanders. This Dovekie earned the nickname Enthusiast from the person that commissioned it.


  1. My last post explained that I commissioned these in celebration of our pups, who are named after these birds: Fernandina and Dovekie.

    I'd long ago identified the Dovekie as one of my favorites in the Sibley's guide (I think I have a thing for alcids, apparently!), and I always dreamed of seeing one in person. Then, in November last year ... someone did see a Dovekie in Michigan. I believe it was only the second or third confirmed sighting in over 100 years of records. Problem was ... the bird was found dead in Lake Michigan, in the South Haven harbor. Somehow the little guy had been blown thousands of miles of course, and his journey ended unceremoniously with a friend of ours picking up the by-then frozen remains and transporting them to Michigan State for study.

    We got our new pup at New Year's -- and christened him Dovekie in honor of the little bird gone astray. Our Dovekie is only four months old, a retriever mix (precise origins unknown), but he sports the avian version's "tuxedo" look -- as well as his adventurous spirit.


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