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#7 Madagascar Fish Eagle

Critically Endangered

There are thought to be maybe 240 of these eagles left. There are still huge threats to their population. They are competitors of the fishermen in Madagascar and so are often taken in nets or shot. Deforestation is destroying their nesting habitat. pollution is another problem for their survival. The most disturbing is that superstition says having one of their feet brings healing powers to anyone who has it. They are trapped, have a foot chopped off, and released. Most birds die with just one leg, but at least one has been observed successfully hunting and raising chicks in spite of haing only one leg. They are a mid-sized eagle, with a wingspan up to 71" wide. They have a really beautiful mottled reddish brown front and neck area with a pale head and tail.

This painting convinced me to give up fighting with the limited pencils I had, and go get more colours. Unlike regular paint where you can mix the colours before so you know what you are getting, this is a bit of a guessing game. It really helps to have something closer to what you want at the start. If you are getting art supplies for a child or you when you are starting out, don't think that the cheapest is best. They will be less frustrated if they have quality tools to work with. Think along the lines of giving a chef a butter knife to chop vegetables with rather than a sharp blade. It can turn something you love into an annoying chore.

I love birds of prey. I was able to do a behind the scenes photography session at the Oregon Zoo many years ago. The intensity these animals have is amazing. Photographing them was a fabulous experience. Most of them were victims of car accidents, electrocution, or other injuries that made it so they could not be released back into the wild. I would prefer to photograph these in the wild, but until I can do that I am just grateful I was able to experience being up close to such powerful creatures. I will tell you more about my photo day and share other pictures later on in the series.

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