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Hooded Merganser; Eastern Meadowlark; Willet; Lark Sparrow

Here are four paintings done over the last four or five years but not previously posted to my list, of well-known North American bird species, showing adults and young birds.

The first is a little study of the Hooded Merganser (Lophopdytes cucullatus) with her brood, done after I spent an afternoon watching just such birds, sketching and photographing them. I did this quite quickly and perhaps, someday, I will work it up into a full size painting. I was impressed at how the ducklings kept looking up into the sky, as though looking for predators, and have shown this behavior. It is in oils on compressed hardboard and is 8 X 10 inches.

Second is the Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), adult and fledged immature. The species is found through much of North America south as far as northern South America. This is in oils on compressed hardboard and is 16 X 12 inches.

The third is the Willet (Tringa semipalmata), a large sandpiper native to North America and the West Indies. I’ve shown an adult and partly grown young bird. It is also in oils, but on a 20 X 16 inch birch panel and is approximately life size.

Finally, a painting done as a cover for Bird Watcher’s Digest, of an adult and immature Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus), another North American species. They are beautifully marked mostly terrestrial birds and the only members of their genus. This painting, like the meadowlarks and the Willets, was painted approximately life size, and in oils on compressed hardboard that is 12 by 9 inches in size.

I wanted to “catch up” with some older paintings and studies, hence this group of four, each, in its own way, somewhat “experimental” in that I was trying for slightly different effects. I also like to paint downy young birds and immature plumages, although, I hope, respectfully, and not simply as cute images.



Barry Kent MacKay

Bird Artist, Illustrator

Studio: (905) 472 9731

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