Black-shouldered Kite (Petroica rodinogaster)
When Black-shouldered Kites hunt, it’s like an elegant dance.
Their fluttering hover, quick swoop and dive can be witnessed in the hilly paddocks near Camden, not far from the urban sprawl of Western Sydney. But they are best observed away from city lights, as in the arid saltbush landscape of the Hay Plain or tropical woodlands of Kakadu National Park.
Black-shouldered Kites have a restless, watchful habit. Their crimson gaze is piercingly direct. They hunt despite gusting winds and swirling dust.
My earliest close encounter was walking along a bike-path as a child in Jabiru, Kakadu National Park. Emerging from a tunnel, I glanced up to find the sharp gaze of a Black-shouldered Kite locked onto me. Perched in a dead tree, even from a distance its eyes were a shock of brilliant red. It’s the closest thing to feeling like prey…
- linen has a strong texture with linear fibres that enhance the art
- I often use a clear primer, leaving the linen in its raw state