Peregrine Falcon

Fine Art Watercolour Paper
Giclee 'OPEN EDITION' Prints
Aprox. Size: 297mm x 400mm
Price: £37.00

Original Painting Medium: Graphite Pencil
Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus
Region: U.K, Europe

A few years ago, Andrew, a friend and peregrine enthusiast, gave me a photograph of his pet 'bird of prey'; an immature male peregrine, also known as a tiercel. The peregrine is an extremely handsome bird and to portray him was a great experience.

As I did not wish a detailed background to distract from this beautiful bird of prey - the suggestion of a rocky outcrop - the peregrines' natural habitat, seemed appropriate. My drawing of a peregrine was portrayed with graphite pencil. I thoroughly enjoy drawing in pencil and hoped that the contrasting subtle shades would capture and display this falcons' exquisite markings.

The peregine breeds mainly on coastal cliff ledges but will occasionally nest on the ledges of high city buildings. Its prey is medium-sized birds, typically a wood pigeon or a grouse.

When hunting, a peregrine will often circle high in the sky searching for its next meal. The victim is then either outflown or taken from above. If the attack is from above, the peregrine will suddenly fold its wings back and drop into a spectacular stooping dive reaching speeds of up to 180 mph - the impact of the attack will often break the neck or back of the victim.

During the war, homing pigeons were used to carry important messages, and for this reason, peregrines were officially destroyed in large numbers. Over subsequent years, sporting bird enthusiasts and game keepers have also persecuted peregrines and until recently the population was in serious decline. Thankfully, due to recent legal protection, the peregine is beginning to recover.