Chinese painter, illustrator and street artist Cheng Yingjie (a.k.a. Hua Tunan) has created an extraordinary painting called “Night Owl” that makes perfect use of his signature colorful and chaotic style.
Yingjie’s stunning and dynamic owl figure seems to materialize magically out of a chaotic cloud of splashes and splashes of colorful paint.
Like many other successful contemporary street artists, he uses a wide range of bright colors, even those don’t actually appear in owls, like green, blue and purple.
His dynamic style, while definitely his own, is similar to the work done by many other notable street artists, including that of DALeast.
Not surprisingly, Yingjie’s art has been in fairly high demand, as he is a leader in the contemporary Chinese art community.
And yet, this is one of the few times that he has actually offered his art up for sale to the public.
He has created 35 copies of this owl by hand to sell to the public, each with its own little unique hand-drawn subtleties.
They’re named after tall, feathery tufts on their heads that look like ears. Their real ones are hidden under facial feathers, and for many North American long-eared owls, those ears must have been burning lately.
Normally secretive birds, long-eared owls have become a sensation this winter around Chicago, where they’ve dazzled people by suddenly appearing in unusually large numbers.
This is known as an irruption, the technical name for any abrupt surge in a bird population, especially outside its typical haunts.
It’s unclear where exactly all these long-eared owls came from, but the species is known to breed across a northern swath of the United States from Maine to California, plus much of Canada.
Long-eared owls are native to Eurasia and North Africa as well as North America. They live year-round in many regions, but some also escape the northernmost parts of their breeding range during winter, moving south into (slightly) warmer habitats.
The newly-discovered species, named the Desert Tawny Owl, belongs to the earless owl genus, Strix.
It is a medium-sized owl, 30 to 33 centimeters long, and weighing 140 to 220 grams.
It resembles the Hume’s Owl (Strix butleri) and the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) in plumage pattern and proportions.
The species’ scientific name, Strix hadorami, honors Israeli ornithologist and writer Hadoram Shirihai.
“It is a special pleasure to name this bird for Hadoram Shirihai, a much-valued colleague and collaborator for 20 years,” Dr Schweizer and his colleagues wrote in a paper in the journal Zootaxa.
“Although Hadoram’s ornithological interests are staggeringly wide-ranging, his name is arguably particularly synonymous with this wonderful owl of wild places in the Middle East.
He discovered, when still a young boy, a live but poisoned specimen (of the Desert Tawny Owl) in En Gedi, which became the first individual to be held in captivity and is now a skeleton in the Tel Aviv University Museum.”