illustration

Raptors of the World: Harpy Eagle (again)

This apex predator is a rare sight in the rainforests of South and Central America. They hunt mostly large mammals such as monkeys and sloths. They also take large birds, lizards, and snakes. They hunt from a perch then attack from a stoop. Striking their prey with talons as large as grizzly bear claws. Arguably one of the strongest eagles at least in its range. Distinguishable by its two crests on each side of its head. Both sexes are alike in plumage but like many other raptors, females are larger.

They build large stick nests as high in the canopy as possible. The average clutch is two eggs. Young Harpy Eagles are dependent on their parents for over a year after hatching so most pairs mate biyearly.

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We took our first look at harpy eagles here back in September of 2017. Since then I’ve finished up a few more illustrations and readings and decided it’d be fun to make another large harpy eagle painting. So thanks for taking another look at this apex predator of the Central and South American rainforests with me!

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Raptors of the World: African Harrier-Hawk

African Harrier-Hawk or African Gymnogene. These large birds of prey are found in most regions south of the Sahara. They Feed on oil palm fruits, and uses its long double jointed legs to reach into dead trees and crevices to steal eggs or snatch at small mammals, reptiles, and insects. Also hunts from a perch or even walking on the ground. They build stick nests and lay 1-3 eggs per clutch. 


Afri Har Hawk

Thanks for looking at birds with me!

Owls of the World: Indian Eagle Owl

Bubo bengalensis. Indian Eagle Owl or Rock Eagle Owl. Found from W. Himalayas east to W. Burma, and south through Pakistan and India, but not Sri Lanka. like most owls, they’re reluctant to fly over large open waters. They prefer rocky and rugged landscapes but can also be found in forested areas or near edges of cities.

Bubo bengalensis hunts rats, mice, and also birds, reptiles, frogs, and large insects. They Hunt from a perch or in a low foraging flight. The Indian Eagle Owl’s song is a two-note hoot, the second note is stronger. If upset they make an angry hissing sound.

They nest on the ground or on a rocky outcrop. Laying 2-4 eggs at a time which are incubated by the female for around 35 days.

Thanks for looking at birds with me.

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Owls of the World: Ural Owl

Strix uralensis

The Ural Owl is found across Northern Europe and Northern Asia. And as far east as Japan. Preferring remote old growth forest. They hunt primarily voles but substitute with other small mammals, insects, and birds when vole populations are low. Hunting from perches relying on their incredible hearing, silent wings, and razor sharp talons.

Ural Owls lay up to six eggs per clutch. Nesting in dead trees or even an abandoned Goshawk nest. They are very defensive of their nests, chasing away anything that approaches the entrance. Unless it’s a returning Goshawk in which case they would be in trouble.

4 Ural Owl final TEXT

 

 

 

Falco peregrinus. (Again probably).

I cracked open a can of cola and laid out the paints I would need. As well as several books opened to pages with peregrines on them. To double check the colors I imagined.
I always start these with some idea but a lot of it I figure out on my way through it. Still learning how to best translate from pencil to paint.
f1
When I got to the wings I looked for blue….I found some in my paint box.
f2
The body through me for a loop, and I sat staring at it for a good bit. In the background I could hear the soundtrack of a movie I was half watching. Somebody was laughing.
f3
A glance to the window and I knew where to go. Like driving in the night and checking the map under a streetlight. (I guess now everybody looks at their phone).
I brought back the smallest brush and approached like it was my micron pen. With the precision of a drunk surgeon with a rusty scalpel.
I like paper maps.
falconfinal
Got it sorted well enough.
No simple highway.

Flight path.

A pose I had sketched a lot in October. Here it finally came to life in pen this evening with the help of a visit from a Red-Tailed Hawk on my way home tonight. Inspiration move me brightly…

Penciled in like an appointment I never planned to keep.

Penciled in like an appointment I never planned to keep.

Turns to splintered sunlight on my page.

Turns to splintered sunlight on my page.

Hawks help me get lost in the meadow of my imagination.

Hawks help me get lost in the meadow of my imagination.

No poems, only birds. My classic contradiction.

Sitting at my desk after work tonight. I reckon I could write you a poem, or something of that sort. But I’ll hold onto any words I have in that nature for a day or so. Trying like I do with a pen drawing. Before I begin with the pen work I let the drawing sit in pencil and examine it for a few days. Each time noticing things I hadn’t before.
I like doing that with words too. This helps me find their power or something like that.
 
I finished another large flying hawk. The layout of these drawings is simple but holds lots of texture. I feel good about this approach and would like to now put these birds into other positions in the natural kingdom. No easy task, but tonight’s pencil studies show promise I feel.
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The most recently finished of my 2’x4′ hawks on plywood.

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain…

The other night while I was climbing around under my bed. I found an old cassette tape and against my better judgment I listened to the song that was going through her head, while she tossed and turned and lay awake in bed. The next day we said our goodbyes.
 
I am halfway through my 6th plywood raptor in flight drawing. Adding clear coats to the others to keep them safe from the elements and protect the drawings from when I inevitably drop them all somewhere foolish. If I was a bank robber my nickname would be “Clown-Shoes”
 
I forgot to write the words down when I woke up so they became forgotten.
His always seem to work for me though.
 
“And there’s nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears” -Robert Hunter

To fall down the drawing table’s rabbit hole again.

Eight hours of drawing tiny lines with a Micron pen bought me these branches, bird, and flower
If such a thing could be bought, this would be how.
My time.
My eye sees it finished before the pen touches cold-press.
While I draw the thought of a lost love rolls through my mind like an old covered wagon,
scrub-brush tangled in the wheels, and the image flickers.
I often travel all the way through the image and into some other place right while sitting still pen in hand.
I can see the songs I love to hear in them, and I can hear the places I like to visit.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a drawing of a Red-tail or a Wren, a mountain range or cellular structure.
If I can catch a glimpse of it, I’ll give my all to put it to page.
Sometimes it’s on wing, and sometimes the branches are empty.
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