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Monday, 10 March 2014

177. Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides)

Barbary Falcons were formerly considered a subspecies of Peregrine Falcon, and have similar habits and behaviour - they nests on rocky cliffs and catch their prey (small birds) on the wing. Barbary Falcons look similar to Peregrines, but are smaller, with paler grey upperparts, a narrower 'moustache', rufous markings on their nape and a pale buff belly with finer barring. The juveniles look particularly similar to juvenile Peregrines, but again have the rufous markings on the nape and are also less heavily streaked below - I think the individual in the photo is a juvenile, from its streaky underparts and browner wings. Barbary Falcons have a scattered distribution across parts of north Africa and the Middle East, where it is found in semi-desert, hills and mountains.

Barbary Falcon, ©Peter W√§chtersh√§user / naturlichter.de, via Wikimedia Commons.
Barbary Falcon painting.

As usual I got scared of the finely detailed plumage on the wing and fudged it to some extent, I think other parts of the painting are OK though.

My paintings have been a bit sporadic of late, for a couple of reasons. The workload associated with my studies is getting a bit intense - the Evolution module I started recently is hard work, it's really interesting and I'm enjoying it, but there are a lot of completely new skills and techniques to learn (e.g. cladistics and allometry equations, which I'm starting to get my head around) whereas my other module (Ecosystems) feels more like it is building on concepts I'm already familiar with. Also I have hurt my hand, specifically my thumb, probably from too much writing for my studies - maybe I have developed a bit of RSI from gripping the pen and pressing too hard! I've made a few changes, including switching from biro to an ink pen, I might have to sacrifice some degree of neatness in my writing but if it helps my hand it will be worth it. I don't think painting has caused the problem, but it is possibly exacerbating it, so I am going to take a break for a week or so to see if that helps.

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