The New Zealand Falcon.
This bird is found across the main north and south islands. However absent from the North Auckland peninsula. The New Zealand falcon shares its environment with only one other diurnal raptor, the Australasian Harrier (Circus approximans). Therefor the falcon has more ecological range. And is more of a generalized raptor in many respects.
Its feather coloration is well suited for the forest environment.
They are typically very defensive of their hunting and nesting areas.
These falcons hunt smaller birds primarily, often hunting from a perch or on the wing. While they’re not as fast as their cousins the Peregrine Falcon, they still don’t waste any time in the air. Moving at terrific speeds with fighter jet-like maneuvers.
Until the last couple months most every bird I painted was native to North America. Due largely to my fondness of them. But as my goal moves towards wildlife preservation and awareness I have broadened my scope. I don’t want to just protect the birds of North America, I want to protect all of them. Birds don’t observe our borders, neither does art.
At the least, all this does is guarantee that I’m not going to run out of birds to paint. At the best, I can share the wonders of the planet with you as they come across my drawing desk. Wherever that desk goes. Thanks for hearing me out and checking out these Falcons with me.
The top of my list of places I’d like to go and see. They have all the badass snakes, spiders, jellyfish.
I chose the Southern Boobook owl to paint for my owls of the world collection.
I don’t own the rights to any photos of one, but crack open another tab on your browser and check these birds out. They’re very cool birds.
I used a couple books to guide me on this one.
“Owls” by Marianne Taylor. 2012 Cornell.
“Owls of the World” by Dr. James R. Duncan. 2003 Firefly Books.
You don’t see a lot of Boobook Owls here in Oakland. In fact most owls here are plastic and intended to strike fear in the hearts of the pigeons. It doesn’t do much, nothing fazes them. Though the Peregrine Falcon that lives on the hospital building wrecks shop on them.
This was a very fun painting to make, it closed up my book project. Which is now available here: http://www.blurb.com/b/7086777-owls
But back to the point. Boobooks are native to mainland Australia, New Guinea, Timor, and the Sunda Islands. They hunt from a perch for small mammals like mice. Also taking insects like beetles and moths. Coloration varies widely across their range. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.)
Thanks for looking at owls with me.
This fall I started a series of raptor paintings.
I broke them into groups. Tonight I finished the first group. Six buteos common to North America.
I learned a lot about the birds while working on these. Taking weekend trips to Hawk Hill in Marin, Ca. to watch the fall raptor migration. Aided by the great people at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, I learned how to better distinguish these birds in flight. And spending hours looking at photographs and painting color studies, I improved my technique for laying them out in a suitable fashion on the page. I’m excited to learn so much more.
A labor of love for learning about these amazing creatures and sharing their wonder with those around me.
I had a delightful afternoon of painting owls and laughing at my own jokes.
My jokes, like when I put the Nashville and the Tennessee Warblers on the same page, this map was begging for the largest owl of each region…..right?
I completed the last work tonight on my 20 warblers on 8×10 wooden pages. I left the 10th page in pencil for “artistic reasons”. I suppose I want whoever looks at these to be able to better see where they come from. People always ask my “why birds?” The best answer I can come up with is that if you walked my mile, I imagine you’d paint a lot of birds too. Maybe the pencil work will help.
Who’s next? Finches? Birds for Atticus….
What’s the difference?