Barry Kent MacKayArt and Photo Presentations from All-Creatures.org



Art by Barry Kent MacKay

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.

Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus)


Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus)
(Artwork - 229)
Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus)

Before I describe the main subject of this painting, the Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus), a shiny gold star goes to whomever can name the ship in the background. Two hints: The year is 1846, and the name does not start with E. Answer below my signature line (and if you are not a Canadian, two gold stars for the right answer.)

My main subject in this little study is the Parasitic Jaeger, also known as the Parasitic Skua, Arctic Skua, or Arctic Jaeger. It is a Holarctic species, nesting far north into the High Arctic (reaching well above the arctic circle) south as far as the coasts of Hudson Bay in North America. The European population, restricted to a small area in the northernmost regions although apparently breeding as far south as northern Scotland, is endangered. They also breed in far northern Russia, particularly shorelines and islands of the Arctic Ocean. They are highly migratory and each fall travel to the seas off southern South America, Africa, Oceania, New Zealand, and Australia and even reaching the south polar seas. Primarily oceanic, they can occur where there is fresh water, including the Great Lakes, on migration.

They are predatory, often forcing other birds, mostly gulls and terns, to give up their own prey which the jaegers then consume. They are extremely skillful flyers and can catch a dropped morsal before it hits the ground, but jaegers can also catch their own food, often lemmings, insects, as well as the eggs, and chicks of other bird species and other live or organic prey.
They are quite variable in pattern, and I have chosen to show a rather typical adult bird in the light colour morph. Others are dark, although in all mature plumages they have, as do all jaegers and skuas, light bases to the primary feathers. They nest on the ground, in bulky nests where they lay as many as four eggs, which they defend vigorously, swooping down on potential nest predators, including humans.

This small painting is in oils on compressed hardboard, and is 20 X 16 inches.
The answer to the question: the HMS Terror, flagship of the Franklin expedition that left England, accompanied by the HMS Erebus, in 1845, attempting to navigate the Northwest Passage across the top of Canada, under the leadership of Captain John Franklin, with all hands, 129 officers and men, lost to hypothermia or starvation when the ships became frozen in ice. Franklin was already dead with the Terror was finally abandoned, in April, 1848. Recently the remains of the ships have been found. Through the years, so have the bodies, well preserved by permafrost, been found. Global climate change and modern technology has now made the Northwest Passage navigable, although it was first navigated in 1906 by Roald Amundsen aboard the Gja.T

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

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