Hovering White-tailed Kite · 19 April 10

White-tailed Kite hovering, watersoluble graphite

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Kites and Crows · 9 April 10

Kites and crows, pen and ink

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Turkey Vulture · 7 December 09

Turkey Vultures in flight There must be a dead something across the road…

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The Wind · 27 October 09

yellowrumps flying, pen and ink It got very windy overnight and hasn’t really abated yet. There have been few birds flying about but there was a little flurry of yellowrumps this morning. Safer to get a good perch and hang on…

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Red-tailed Hawk · 14 January 09

Red-tailed hawk, pen and ink Frosty mornings make for cold raptors, but it’s been warming up into the 60s during the day. This red-tail had finally gotten warm enough to soar at lunch today but had to make a series of circles to gain any kind of elevation — so kept returning to the same position with each circle. I got these pieces of bird together in this sketch after about five of the circles.

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Merlin · 1 October 08

merlin overhead; prismacolor on canson mi-teintes Coming back to work at lunch, a merlin flew overhead in hot pursuit of a house finch. They fly like small peregrines, strong and booking, rather than the more effete kestrels who are only just a little smaller. I don’t think the merlin got the finch — I may have disturbed its concentration. A true thrill, though. I tried to replicate the shape when I got back to my desk.

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Red-tailed Hawk Soaring · 17 September 08

Red-tailed hawk, pen and ink It has now been some days since I’ve seen a Swainson’s hawk, but I’m seeing red-tails fairly regularly. More proof, as if last night’s chilly breeze weren’t enough, that fall is well on the way…

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Red-tailed Hawk · 27 August 08

Red-tailed hawk, pen and ink Stood outside waiting for a friend to pick me up for a Thai lunch. The wind is coming in fairly hard out of the north, and this red-tail was wheeling about. They are beautifully proportioned birds.

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Post-breeding Dispersal · 13 August 08

American crows, pen and ink Many crows flying about at certain times of day…

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Red-tailed Hawk · 8 August 08

Red-tailed hawk, colored pencil It must be fall: the red-tail here was flying about. The Swainson’s hawk chicks are learning to kettle with the adults. The great switch should happen in September.

These flight sketches are done fast, in 5 seconds or so, with the color added immediately afterwards — it’s windy today and the birds are moving quickly. But it does keep reappearing and that helps a bit.

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