American Kestrel - Falco spaverius

April 11, 2010


Over the weekend I finished this latest commissioned watercolor of an American Kestrel. It's 11 x 14 inches. When I lived in Northside Chicago, I'd see kestrels quite often. I usually would spot them hunting scrubby patches of grass that line the Metra tracks. There was a pair that was nesting in a gigantic cottonwood tree near the tracks at Berteau and Wolcott. I've done paintings of kestrels before, and every time that I do, I marvel at their beautiful coloring and pattern. Now that I live in Evanston, where there is arguably more green space, I almost never see them. I am far more likely to see the larger Cooper's Hawk. In fact I spotted a Cooper's as I walked Seth, my greyhound, this morning. I saw its sharp, long tailed silhouette bullet in to a large tree.

10 comments:

  1. I've seen them around my neighborhood while walking Turbo my border collie, they're so magnificent! Your watercolor is just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Diana,

    This is one of the most beautiful paintings of yours that I've seen - the colors are gorgeous and I especially like the wood grain in the branches.

    I'm jealous that you saw them so much in an urban area!

    On another note, if you haven't already seen them, I think you'll like this guy's wildlife collages made from old maps (posted on boingboing yesterday)
    http://controlccontrolv.com/laferrera/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Diana, I love reading your blog and seeing all your beautiful work and methods. Just wanted to pop my head up to say hello, and WOW! I LOVE this piece, it is absolutely stunning!!

    www.tinaburke.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks everybody! Geninne, it's nice to know that you have them down in Mexico visiting you and Turbo. And Mr. Psychlops, those map collages are sweet. I have a bunch of old aerial maps from my dad from his days as a pilot. They're really beautiful, and I've been wanting to do something with them. Hmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  5. At first glance, it looks like an Audubon - but gentler and kinder. Sometimes his birds look severe. This one is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can't wait to see the original Diana. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It doesn't surprise me that you're not seeing them as often these days. It's my understanding that Kestrel populations have been on a dramatic decline in the last 3 years. I know that I'm seeing less of them in the usual places. I feisty little bird indeed. Hopefully they will experience a bit of a rebound. Your watercolor is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the info, Ben. I was wondering if numbers were dropping or if it had something to do with me moving to a slightly different area. I know that Cooper's Hawks were not a common sight 10-15 years ago, and now they are on the increase around here. I wonder if this has anything to do with Kestrel numbers plummeting, or if it is mainly a habitat issue.
    And yeah, I think the smaller the bird (raptor or passerine) the feistier they are!

    ReplyDelete
  9. We have them here in southern ontario as well in the warmer seasons. Your painting depicts them so wonderfully.

    ReplyDelete

Tiny Aviary All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger