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#5 Egyptian Vulture


#5 Egyptian Vulture

In spite of the name, these are not exclusively from Egypt. They can be found in SE Asia, Europe, and Africa but even have made it into the UK and a few other unexpected places. They do tend to migrate into Africa for the winter though. They have learned to use rocks held in their beaks to hit extra tough eggs. In fact they are the only vulture to have been seen using tools. They are rather small for a vulture and usually have to wait their turn at any bit of carrion until the larger vultures are done. As an example, their wingspan is about a foot smaller than the lovely Turkey Vultures we have here in Oregon (and elsewhere), and about 4 1/2 feet smaller than the massive Cinerous Vulture. Their ability to break eggs and catch small prey helps supplement their mostly leftovers scavenging diet. Though their feathers are bright white after molting, most of the time they are dingy and dusty looking, even the adults looking almost brown sometimes (the juveniles actually are brown). They have been known to live up to 37 years in captivity. In the wild they face the same threats many other vultures do, eating lead from carcasses that have been left after being shot, NSAID Diclofenac, deliberate poisoning, and more.

I had decided to do pastels every other day because since I'm teaching myself oils as I go, I was unsure how well I'd do with them. I already knew I loved working with pastels so I was being lazy or timid I guess you'd say, allowing myself to have weekends and every other week day off. Well, I've realized that I adore working with oil even though I'm not confident with them yet. So, since I'm naturally a bit lazy but really do want to become a better artist as I think I'm going to do pastels on Saturday, charcoals on Sundays, and the week days will be oils. I might still change my mind. For that matter, I may decide to add in some ceramics too, though those are not possible to finish in one day no matter how fast I work. Now I need to make some shelves I can start accumulating wet oils on to allow them to dry. I figure some throw-away wood separated by bricks could even work. I don't know about you, but there is a "buy nothing" group in my town and you can usually find pretty much anything there, though I'm worried that wood is still too expensive to be able to get right now unless it is horribly damp and could ruin the paintings. Nothing gained if I don't at least ask though, right? The less I have to keep spending on this project, the sooner I can get the original series framed and let people see them in person.

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