(Toronto, Canada)


12" x 9"
coloured pencil on hot pressed watercolour paper

I spent many hours this spring watching the nesting behaviour of red-winged blackbirds. What struck me the most was the tension between secrecy and visibility. Inside the nest, the mother was very quiet; yet both parents had to be loud and visible to defend their young. I was struck by the vulnerability of the nestlings, unable to fly, with minks and snakes in the area; other nests had been raided. Yet in soliciting food they had to give loud "I am here!" signals. For me, it was a time of discovery, from first seeing a mother bird on the nest to watching the family over many weeks.

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