The New Zealand Falcon is a formidable bird of prey, known for its strength and power. It feeds predominantly on live prey, often in dramatic chases, which it catches with its strong feet and hooked bill suitable for subduing prey and tearing flesh into edible chunks. It lays eggs in simple scrapes which means it can nest in a variety of locations including on the ground. It is well known for attacking intruders, including humans, with aggressive dive bombing strikes to the head and is, in fact, known internationally as one of the bravest, most aggressive of the falcon species.
This is not a bird I would have associated with being threatened and yet it is declining and is classified as nationally vulnerable. New Zealand falcons, like most native New Zealand species, evolved in the absence of mammalian predators and humans. They were safe to breed on the ground, but now the eggs, chicks and adults are vulnerable to these predators. In addition, they have suffered widespread habitat loss, modification and degradation, so have fewer places to safely nest, catch the food they need and raise their young. They also face persecution by humans, including shooting, trapping and deliberate poisoning, and collisions with cars and windows. Another significant threat is electrocution from landing on un-insulated power poles. It is highly likely that electrocution is a factor that limits populations of this threatened species nationwide. The risk is especially high in open areas where power poles provide the most convenient perching opportunity in the landscape.
This painting aims to illustrate the power and strength of this magnificent bird while its title, in contrast to the image, conveys the vulnerability of this bird to its decline. With thanks to the Wingspan National Birds of Prey Centre for photographic reference.
Available Editions of this Artwork
|Edition Info||Edition Size||Dimensions||Edition Price|
|Open Edition | Open Edition (unsigned)||Open||20.50cm H x 41.00cm W||$70.00 USD||