In 1986 I got a commission to make a series with ten different stone lithographies depicting birds of prey. I worked a whole year in a lithography studio in Oslo, making them the traditional way with lithographic crayons on limestone. I had little ornithological knowledge, but got permission to make research at one of the biological departments at University of Oslo.
Sparrowhawk is one in the series of the ten birds of prey lithographies.
The Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), also known as the northern sparrowhawk or simply the sparrowhawk, is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. Adult male Eurasian sparrowhawks have bluish grey upperparts and orange-barred underparts; females and juveniles are brown above with brown barring below. The female is up to 25% larger than the male – one of the greatest size differences between the sexes in any bird species. Though it is a predator which specialises in catching woodland birds, the Eurasian sparrowhawk can be found in any habitat and often hunts garden birds in towns and cities. Males tend to take smaller birds, including tits, finches, and sparrows; females catch primarily thrushes and starlings, but are capable of killing birds weighing 500 g (18 oz) or more.
Falconers have utilised the Eurasian sparrowhawk since at least the 16th century; although the species has a reputation for being difficult to train, it is also praised for its courage. The species features in Teutonic mythology and is mentioned in works by writers including William Shakespeare, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Ted Hughes.
August 2nd, 2019
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