This is exciting! I've actually started stitching one of the birds. I've decided to go with the Acorn Woodpecker for several reasons.
#1 They often are on the shed. This means I can squeeze another bird into the scene.
#2 They have very bold, clearly defined markings. This means I do not have to do long and short shading. Which is great, because I am not very good (yet) at that kind of shading.
The colors were easy. I needed black, white, red and yellow/creamy color. I usually (by which I mean, in all 2 of my previous projects) work in silk, but I do not want to buy a $4 skein of silk for 2 strands, so sometimes I will be using bits of cotton floss from my stash, and that yellow creamy color was a good example.
I bought the white and the black from City Needleworks in San Mateo, I love her silks and her palette, very nice to work with. I knew I would need a lot of those colors, so silk made sense.
The white is City Needleworks #1, the black is City Needleworks #3.
For the red I am using some Soie d'Alger left over from the Hummingbird and Honeysuckle project. #915
The yellow creamy color for the throat was a little harder. Since it was a very small area, and none of the other birds would need it, I did not want to buy a whole skein of silk. So, I rummaged through my collection and settled on the yellowish bits of a varigated thread from Weeks Dye Works...Eucalyptus.