BCR 182: Keith Mueller, Bird Artist and Sculptor

Keith Mueller, a native New Englander, has been carving professionally for over forty years and author of his latest book just published called Half-Sized Great Horned Owl. He resides in Killingworth, Connecticut. Keith was originally educated as an engineer/draftsman, but his carving and painting skills are self-taught.  Mr. Mueller has been awarded the celebrated title of World Champion bird carver seven times and is one of only two bird carvers world-wide to win four of five divisions at World Level Competition at the prestigious Ward World Championships also including two “People’s Choice” Awards. Keith has been honored and awarded the prestigious “Living Legends” title from the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art as well as being honored three times as “Living Legend-Master Folk Artist” in decoy carving by the State of Connecticut sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Keith is also currently working on an innovative birding identification book and guide entitled “Identifying the Winter Alcids of New England”.  He has also created his innovative Color System, Color Bar and Mixing Guide.

Show Notes:

  • Costa Rica to see the birds and especially the Resplendent Quetzel. 
  • What was the Krausman’s Woodcarving Studio 2016 Costa Rica “Pura Vida” Bird carving Extravaganza!
  • Difference between carving decoys and bird art?
  • Steps in a bird carving walk us through them as they relate to a single bird.
  • Teach classes in bird carving.
  • Spending time in the field observing birds and gathering information for art projects. 
  • In the field, you are often capturing photos of birds and habitats, how does photography play into the art production?
  •  Pelagic trip and very realistic decoys of various seabirds in the water.
  • Use of your decoys in a wide variety of conservation efforts.
  • Conservation of birds is important to you.

Mentioned In Episode:

Contact Keith Mueller through Facebook 

Purchase Book Half-Sized Great Horned Owl at Wildfowl Carving Magazine

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                                                       2019 Ward’s World bird carving competition


  1. Richard R. Thomas on November 3, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Outstanding interview Mardi! Love your work Keith. Maybe some day I will figure out a way to attend a class.

    • BirdCallsRadio on January 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm

      Richard, Thank you your kind comment and glad you enjoyed our conversation together. Yes, Keith is such a talented Bird Artist and Sculptor., And A joy to be with in the field going birding and photographing with. Cheers MardiWD

    • Bonnie Desaulnier on September 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      I was fortunate to take a decorative decoy painting class from Keith many many years ago. I still have my practice board to remind me of the hours spent on practicing feather strokes. Am also fortunate to have one of his working decoys… a beauty which I cherish. Glad to see this site and hear his voice again and the beautiful work still being produced. Stay safe and well Keith.

      • BirdCallsRadio on September 6, 2020 at 12:14 pm

        Bonnie, Great to hear of your fond times with Keith in one of his classes. Keith has a great gift of talent and so enjoyed our converstion together. Cheers MardiWD

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