Swainson’s Hawk- Buteo swainsoni

by Bryce W. Robinson

Swainson’s Hawk- Buteo swainsoni. 11×15″ watercolor on paper

In anticipation of the northward return of one of my favorite raptors I felt the need to illustrate a portrait shot of the rufous morph Buteo swainsoni. I have two goals in my future artwork: First, to strengthen my illustration skills for reference to identification or in explaining other technical topics such as molt, morphology, anatomy, etc. and second, to enhance my ability to convey the birds in an artistic manner straying from a realistic portrayal. The above watercolor is an attempt at the latter. I hope that the approach will speak to the intelligence of winged creatures, appealing to those that may identify with the bird’s beauty, otherwise unrecognized by most. The hawk above is a major migrant, peering outward towards the viewer with marble eyes that have reflected more lands in one season than any eye of humanity will in a lifetime. The life of this bird inspires awe, and this painting is my homage.