Art Bird Cards 2021

Art Bird Card 2021

It is that time again! The New Year has ushered in a new flock of birds to choose from for the ABC Project 2021. Once again, the bird list is provided by Rocky Point Bird Observatory. The first 36 local* artists to sign up and be approved to go ahead with a bird will be the artists for our next “deck.”

*see FAQs for definition “local”


Purpose of Project: 

To unite local artists with local naturalists and create a beautiful deck of cards that people can use in the field or in the comfort of their homes to identify local birds. Last year’s deck was hugely popular at both the local and regional levels with participants and purchasers alike.


How it works:

Artists: donate the use of their bird image to the ABC project for cards and promotion. The original art work remains that of the artist. Artists are encouraged to enter and may be able to sell their original work at Metchosin ArtPod’s juried Fur and Feathers Show running May- June 2021, if they choose. Artist’s names and websites are placed on the front (image side) of the cards in perpetuity (=advertising!).

Naturalists (from Rocky Point Bird Observatory): research and provide the most current information to be used on the backs of the cards. Cards will be sold for use by students and community members, to further their appreciation of local artists and birds.

Cards will be sold through the Rocky Point Bird Observatory, Metchosin ArtPod, and possibly other local non-profit organizations. The (nominal) profits of the cards will go towards offsetting the programming costs of these worthy groups.



Jan – March: Local artists sign-up for birds (one per artist). This list is updated regularly, however, it is possible that a bird that shows as “available” may have been recently spoken for. Therefore, please do not start your artwork until you have received confirmation of your species. This Project may fill well before the March 15th deadline.

March 15th, 2021: All birds should have been assigned by now.

April 1st, 2021: High resolution images of bird art submitted, as per format below, to an e-mail address that will be provided when your species choice is confirmed.

April 15th, 2021: Card formatting finished and Naturalist notes added to back side

Early May: Formatted Birds to printer. Boxes ordered.

Mid May- Cards back from Printer. Assemble boxes, label them. Box the cards. Start selling decks.

Late May ABC 2021 Kick-off event


Guidelines for drawing your bird:

  1. The image must be oriented vertically.
  2. Properly research the correct appearance of your bird, local to southern Vancouver Island. Do not simply Google images from the internet. Consult a proper bird ID book (preferably several— we recommend Audubon or Merlin Bird ID as two online resources who also have Apps) and get acquainted with the markings, bird, bill/wing, leg/foot shape, leg colour etc. that distinguish it from other similar-appearing birds. Naturalists will check over these images and artists may be asked to alter colours or details if they do not accurately portray key features of the species.
  3. Submitted image size is 11cm x 16cm. (4.25”x 6.25”) Please look at the image below to understand how the “bleed” works. Note that though the FINAL finished size of the cards is 10cm 15cm (4”x6”)so you actually must provide an extra “throw-away” border of .5cm (3/8”) all the way around.  The border could be foliage or background landscape… and even a part of the bird if you are doing a close up, but not a CRITICAL part of the bird (like a foot with talons of a raptor, or the wing bar of a bird that needs that as an identifier). Of course, you are welcome to work larger in a multiple of this – say 20cmx30cm (plus minimum 1cm border all the way around so 22×32), or 40cmx 60cm (plus minimum 2cm border= 44x64cm), etc.
  4. Images must be submitted at (minimum) 300dpi.


Please see the following link to the 2021 sign up form as well as the bird list on Google Drive:




  1. I participated last year, can I again? YES! Please do! And tell your arty friends as well!
  2. I have a bird I already painted before this project, can I use it? Yes, but only if it is on the list and available, and only if it can be cropped to the correct size and vertically (portrait NOT landscape) oriented. With bleeds.
  3. I paint more abstract birds- can I submit? Remember, these cards are going to be used for ID. They need to be identifiable as very specific birds.
  4. My child is an amazing artist, can s/he submit? We had a young teen participate last year. Her work was accurate, appropriate and much appreciated.
  5. What media are allowed? This project does favour all 2D media (pastel, watercolour, acrylic, oil, collage, pencil, pencil crayon, felt, pen and ink, etc.), though 3D media might work, if well-photographed. Please discuss with us.
  6. What do you mean by Local Artist”? We say local only because this project is all about building community. We encourage participating ABC Project artists to submit their works to Metchosin ArtPod’s Fur and Feathers show (May-June 2021), and hope they will be able to come to Metchosin (Covid willing) for the ABC launch, at the end May/beginning June 2021. If you are from the Mainland, Northern Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands and want to participate, please consider doing a road trip to join some of these events!!
  7. Last year I wanted to communicate with other artists while we were all creating. Can you make a FB page for us? We can! This would be for artists only, and would not be a reliable way to communicate with the ABC Project organizers.
  8. Will you be making greeting cards of any of the images? Many people asked for these last year. We may look into making a limited number of greeting cards from a few of the images, but this has not been decided (or priced to see if financially sensible).  If it went ahead, the “nature facts” would go on the back side the fold, and the image on the front, leaving the inside blank. If we went ahead with this, we would probably only choose the most popular 10 birds. No promises, but we are looking into this. Artists are, of course, free to do this without our involvement, so if you’d like a set of cards, t-shirt, mug, etc. or would like to purchase the original artwork, please contact the artist (their contact info will be on the front of their card).
  9. How much do the finished decks sell for and what is the final product like? The finished decks will sell for around $25. They are printed on a waterproof , tear-resistant paper that makes them nice and durable, and the colour of the images is retained. They come in a sturdy cardboard box, with an info sheet listing all the birds and some scientific vocabulary (one term introduced one each card).
  10. Any other burning Qs? Contact: