Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
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Art and Photo Presentation

In this section are copies of original works of art. All of them are dedicated to helping us live according to unconditional love and compassion, which is the foundation of our peaceful means of bringing true and lasting peace to all of God's creatures, whether they are human beings or other animals.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)


Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
(Artwork - 091)
Northern Harrier
(Circus cyaneus)

The Northern Harrier is the only member of the genus, Circus, found in North America, where it occurs in all continental states and Canadian provinces. All the harriers are very similar, structurally, being lean and long, with long, rounded wings, long tails and a characteristic “facial disk” consisting of short, stiff feather radiating out from the eye, a little like the facial disks of owls. Most have a white patch on the rump, and they tend to soar low over open areas on wings held at a slight upward angle.

They are migratory and winter as far south as northern South America, but some stay as far north as Ontario, and it is not that rare to see one in winter, flying over ice and snow.

The Northern Harrier used to be called the “marsh hawk”. It is a subspecies of the Hen Harrier, of Eurasia, although the juvenile plumages, particularly, are quite different. 

They nest on the ground, usually in fields or marshes, open prairies or tundra, the nest well hidden amid surrounding vegetation. The male will mate with more than one female, usually two, but up to five.

The adult is coloured a lot like many gull species, being gray above, white below, with black wing tips. There is a variable amount of warm buffy markings on the underparts. Females are brown, the immature birds a richer brown with a very rich buffy, thinly or non-patterned belly.  All three plumages show a crisp, white rump patch.

Food varies, usually small mammals and birds, ducklings and snakes and frogs, but sometimes they will take larger prey, such as a duck or adult muskrat.

The painting is small, and was designed for the cover of a magazine, leaving room above and below the central figure for print. It shows an adult male flying low over a marsh in south-central Ontario. It was done in acrylics, on compressed hardboard.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
See his website: http://barrykentmackay.ca/

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