Monday, April 27, 2009

Wrens & Hawks

Carolina Wren in Nature Sketchbook
Watercolor on Arches 140 lb paper

More progress on the little wren in my sketchbook. S/he's beginning to look like a bird now anyway. And would you believe I've had to paint, scrub out, and paint that beak/bill area 3 times?! Grrrrr! It is not quite satisfactory yet. It still needs a bit of darkening, but at least it looks like a wren's beak now. It seems to me there are two major things to get right on a bird - the shape of his eye and the shape of his bill. No doubt there are other areas that must be right too.

To further our bird outing, when I went to the library on Friday, I heard the very distinct cry of a hawk, but could not see him. The library sits in a grassy field with trees bordering the field so I figured he could be just about anywhere. As I started across the parking lot, I happen to glance up and see this guy hanging out . . . .

He was behind the air handling unit for the library! I dug out my little Sony with the little telephoto lens and took his photo. He didn't seem to mind though he did keep an eye on me. I moved around to the back of the library and got a different view of him.
Any one care to tell me what kind of hawk he is? I've looked at my birding guide and he doesn't look like any of them to me which leads me to believe he's a juvenile. Not to mention the odd place he was hanging out. Just as I turned to leave a couple of mockingbirds spotted him and were flying in to dive bomb him so he would leave. Must of worked because he was gone when I came back out. (Sorry for the poor quality, my little Sony can only see so far!)

6 comments:

  1. Hi Laure, I am just catching up on your blog posts. Great stuff. I love your wren. Regarding beak troubles, they can be tricky can't they? When I draw birds, I seem to be challenged to get the curve or slope of the head right. Ah,the challenges... :-)

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  2. Your little wren is perfect. I love her face and bill. Carolina Wrens are so fun to have around the house. I love their song and the way the "scold."

    I'd guess either a juvenile Cooper's Hawk or juvenile Sharp-shinned. The Cooper's is 14-21 inches long and the Sharp-shinned is 10-14 inches. I'm poor at identifying hawks from photos, can you remember the approximate size?

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  3. You're so right, Teresa, it's the challenges that keep us coming back, but I'd prefer the challenge be about something worthwhile rather than my lack of observation skills!

    I'm guessing it's a Sharp-shinned as well, Kelly. He was way up on the roof line so size is kind of hard to judge. I'm thinking he could not have been much more than a foot tall.

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  4. Love the wren! I can sympathize with the paint, scrub, and repaint thing :-)

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  5. How lucky you were to see that hawk! I get overwhelmed with buzzards when my rabbits and guinea pigs are playing in the garden but they are two a penny. Love the wren, it's strange how little things in a painting bug you, no one else can see your problem (I can't, the bill looks pefect) but if you're like me you just keep changing things forever and a day!

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  6. that sweet little wren is beautiful you are so clever and so patient.
    I read Wesley the Owl recently, what an interesting book, have you read it?

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