Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
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.

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)
(Artwork - 131)
Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)

This medium-large falcon is distributed through much of Africa, apart from the Sahara Desert and the Congo Basin, and in some parts of southern Europe. Like most birds of prey, they Lanner Falcons are quite variable in appearance. I have shown an adult male. They bear a strong resemblance, and are apparently quite closely related, to several of the medium-large and largest falcons, including the Lagger Falcon (F. jugger) of southern Asia, the Saker Falcon (F. cherrug) of Eurasia and Africa, and our own North American Prairie Falcon (F. mexicanus) and several other species. In captivity hybrids among these and other various falcon species are commonplace. Five subspecies are recognized; I've shown a male of the nominate race, from Angola.

Scientists used to classify the falcons in the same order as other raptorial birds, such as hawks, harriers, kites and eagles, but the ability to more objectively evaluate relationships using DNA and other sophisticated analytical techniques teaches us that the similarities, such as large talons, hooked beaks and a protective ridge over the eye, are not indicative of a strong relationship, and that falcons are more closely related to, of all things, parrots.

Lanners tend to inhabit fairly arid country, although they are found in a reasonable range of habitats, avoiding areas of high rainfall, tropical jungle and vast expanses of open, sandy desert. Typical of all members of their genus they fly with exquisite skill and dramatic speed and manoeuvrability, and are able to capture much of their prey, smaller birds and perhaps large insects, on the wing, although they will also capture small mammals and reptiles on the ground, or pick them off rocks or the ground without alighting.

Nests are somewhat opportunistic. If they find the old nest of another species, such as a crow or other hawk, they may use it as a platform for their eggs, but they may also lay their eggs, usually three or four per clutch, on a bare ledge or rock or even on the ground, and even, on rare occasions, on the ledge or roof of a building. Like other large falcons their eggs or young are too often victims of poaching for use in falconry.

The painting is approximately life size, on a Russian birch panel that is 18 X 24 inches, mounted on a basswood frame, and is done in acrylics on a gesso base.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
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