Friday, August 14, 2020

Carlos's Dancing Butterfly

 

Oil on Panel, 4 x 4 inches

          Here is my oil painting of a male American Redstart. My encounters with them are usually serendipitous, as was the case when I came upon this particular redstart in Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota. If you’re not a birdwatcher, these butterflies of the forest can be in your midst and right above your head without you even knowing it. They’re not particularly shy and will allow you to get good looks at them hopping from branch to branch, almost always with their colorful feathers on display. When searching for food, redstarts seem to canvas an area just a little more thoroughly compared to some other species, but that doesn’t mean they'll sit calmly on a branch. Their behavior is quite the opposite. While shimmying back and forth flashing their bright feathers and tails, unsuspecting insects are startled and then eaten. If their prey is able to fly, redstarts will leap off trees and nab them mid-flight. They are fun to watch, but be prepared to crane your neck since they have little or nothing to do with the ground. This is a species of the trees.



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