Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Peregrine Falcon" - Oil Painting

Oils on canvas (10×12 inches) (commissioned – sold)

The Peregrine Falcon is often stated to be the fastest animal on the planet in its hunting dive, the stoop, which involves soaring to a great height and then diving steeply at speeds commonly said to be over 322 km/h (200 mph), and hitting one wing of its prey so as not to harm itself on impact.

The Peregrine Falcon hunts at dawn and dusk, when prey are most active, but in cities also nocturnally, particularly during migration periods when hunting at night may become prevalent.

It requires open space in order to hunt, and therefore often hunts over open water, marshes, valleys, fields and tundra. It searches for prey either from a high perch or from the air.

Once prey is spotted, it begins its stoop, folding back the tail and wings, with feet tucked.

The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species because of the use of pesticides, especially DDT during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Pesticide biomagnification interfered with reproduction, thinning eggshells and reducing the number of eggs that survived to hatching. The organochlorine build-up in the falcon’s fat tissues would result in less calcium in the eggshells, leading to flimsier, more fragile eggs.

In several parts of the world, such as the eastern USA and Belgium, this species became extinct as a result. Peregrine eggs and chicks are often targeted by black marketeers and unscrupulous egg collectors, so it is normal practice not to publicize unprotected nest locations.

The Peregrine Falcon was used in falconry for more than 3,000 years, beginning with nomads in central Asia.] Due to its ability to dive at high speeds, it was highly sought-after and generally used by experienced falconers. Peregrine Falcons are also occasionally used to scare away birds at airports to reduce the risk of bird-plane strikes, improving air-traffic safety.


Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

Hi Avril,

That painting is stunning. I would swear the flacon is about to fly out of the canvas and hunt for his prey. Absolutely awesome. I love your work it just makes me want to hide somewhere and paint wildlife all the more. Sadly just no time since I'm also an editor for the local paper. Christmas rush will soon be over then I have six weeks of peace and I can paint!!! And finally upload some work onto Red Bubble. Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement

Take care
Love Liz

Avril Brand said...

Thank you for the lovely comment, Liz!!! Oh, I understand completely about having so little time this time of the year... the days are flying past and so much to do!!!

Well, I hope you have a very merry and blessed Christmas and may the new year bring you lots of inspiration for your art!!!


Sandy said...

The falcon is beautiful. We have several Peregrine Falcon pairs in Detroit. I love to watch them teach their young to hunt. They used to teach their young to hunt in an old, vacant hotel that was next door to where I work. We haven't seen much of them since they renovated the hotel.

Avril Brand said...

Thank you Sandy... they are beautiful birds and it is sad that they, too, are endangered nowadays. I hope that they moved to a safer place when the hotel was renovated!

Just Like Wine said...

Hi Avril! (((Hugs)))

Your Peregrine Falcon is absolutely beautiful!

I just saw your comment on my blog... I must have found you about the same time you found me, but I wanted to surprise you. (always the wee pixie). LOL
((hugs)) and loves :)

Sandy said...

Happy New Year, Avril! Wishing you wonderful things in the new year.

Tammy said...

The falcon is beautiful. Thank you for the info, I didn't know anything about the Peregrine Falcon.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Avril Brand said...

Pixie!!! So lovely to see you again!! It's been years... must stay in contact. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year!!

Avril Brand said...

And a very Happy New Year to you, Sandy!!! Thank you so much for the visit!

Avril Brand said...

Thank you for the lovely comment, Tammy! Wishing you a wonderful New Year!!!