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#300 Ridgway's Hawk

Critically Endangered

There are said to be a total of 427 of these birds left. Their numbers are going up, but they are still dangerously at risk of being wiped out. They live on the island of Hispaniola, which is partly Haiti and partly Dominican Republic. They used to nest in both hardwood and palm trees, but due to deforestation they have to nest almost exclusively in palm trees. The nests there are not quite as safe, so some conservationists will temporarily try to brace them to keep the nest safe until the chicks have fledged. They also have a funny thing where they like to build their nest on top of Palm Chat nests. They don't hurt the smaller Palm Chat, just add another level to their nests. Along with the deforestation, botfly infestations killing chicks and people shooting them to protect their domestic birds are their most immediate threats. Unfortunately because they are in such a small habitat area, introduced disease or a bad hurricane could wipe them all out. That is why their population increase is so crucial and encouraging!

I am so shocked and happy that I've made it to 300 paintings. For a project that started small as a way to keep myself busy during our state's initial lock-down, to share animals with friends, and to try and get more comfortable with using watercolour, it has certainly grown! I have tried to do blogs before. The most I ever managed before was a week when I had to do it for a class assignment, and I hated doing it. This though, I have been thoroughly enjoying and haven't felt it was a chore at all. I suppose that is because I really love sharing what I find are interesting facts about animals, and letting myself ramble about anything and everything. As we near the end of the project coming up in 66 days, I've sent a final email about the support website. If I do not hear from them soon and get things squared away I will be moving on to something else. Once that is all figured out I will have a link to that. Now I also need to get serious about looking for grants as well. I have not found any that would work yet. Well, I qualify on paper, but my art is nothing like what they have looked for in the past for certain. I'll absolutely keep you posted as to how that all goes, and eventually should have shows to share.

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