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Art by Barry Kent MacKay
This is a species I have painted more often than any other, but mostly of late vignettes to illustrate a forthcoming book. Attached is a complete painting, to be used for the cover of the same book. It shows an adult with young.
This species is found throughout much of North America, Mexico and parts
of the West Indies. It is named for two tufts of feathers that appear
in the breeding season, but are soon shed, so missing from this bird. Both
parents tend to the young, usually taking turns, and do so very
attentively…they are superb parents, and they maintain their bond with each
other long after the young have left the nest. They often nest in trees, but
can also nest on the ground, and normally in colonies, often in the company
of herons and egrets and other waterbirds. They are migratory in the
northern part of their range. Here in southern Ontario they are starting to
return just about now.
Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
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