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Spruce Grouse Habitat

How to make a bird feel at home

By: Jerry Simchuk

Since entering his first competition in 1994, Jerry Simchuk has competed regularly at top-level bird carving shows around the country. A full-time artist since 2004, Jerry currently lives in Spokane, Washington, where he continues to build his reputation as a wildlife artist, carver, judge, and instructor. You can reach him at Jerry@Simchuk.com.
Choosing the best habitat for your carving can be quite a challenge. Should the bird be on a branch or a rock? If on a tree, what kind? Is it spring or fall? What should you include with the main habitat? Will the piece have a pedestal, or will it be freestanding? And so on.

The great thing about making habitat is that the process is more free-form than carving a bird. It’s fun and creative. Make it your way. If you want to add a dip in the rock, put it in. If you want a bend in the branch, add it.

The carving for this article is a half-sized spruce grouse. Space was a factor with this piece, so I needed to keep the habitat relatively compact. If there had been no space limitations, I might have chosen a pedestal concept with more room for the habitat.


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