In the early morning as I walk to the barn to feed my animals, the piercing cry of the American kestrel is among the birds I often hear. The male of this bird of prey is one of the most colorful raptors in the skies, flying with speed and grace. Last summer, a friend rescued one of these beautiful birds that was trapped in an old school building. He worked patiently for an hour, softly walking up to where the trapped bird had landed, only to have it fly away again. Finally, the kestrel was exhausted and my friend was able to lay a towel over him and pick him up. “That bird just finally realized I wasn’t going to hurt him and let me capture him,” my friend said. Then he told me about how, when he released the bird through a window, the kestrel soared to a nearby tree and then turned to look at him for a long while, as if in thanks. His story inspired me to do this painting. The bird’s head is modeled after a picture my friend took of the kestrel while it was wrapped in the towel.
Acrylic with gloss finish.
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