Sunday, 1 March 2015

German bite

These days its not that unusual to see Buzzards around, but even so, they are usually glimpsed as silhouettes through car windows or distant specks out over the fen. I couldn't resist the chance to see one up close, it was an injured bird and I took the chance to have a look before it got taken to the vets. I must admit, I expected it to be more subdued, given its state of health- a fracture of the humerus- but sketching it proved difficult as it's alert eyes followed my every move. wherever I stood, it turned towards me- no chance to draw it's profile, which to my mind is always the most aesthetically pleasing angle of these raptors.So as not to over-stress the bird I didn't spend too long drawing it, just one quick sketch before Lou fed it some chopped up chick. It's always a good sign when a wild bird eats when captive, injured or not, so I was very pleased to see mouthful after mouthful gulped down.
In fact to prove how fit it was , the young scamp jumped up and wedged itself between the cage and the wall, whereupon I found out exactly how strong and sharp it's talons were. As it tried to grab hold of something to steady itself, I reached forward to extricate it from its predicament- after all, earlier on I had been able to pick it up using the correct methods, something I have never had the chance to do before, and I was pleased with how easy it had been, and how naturally the technique of confidently grabbing hold of it's legs around the "knees" had come to me. It wasn't so much of an angry strike, more an attempt to hold on to something solid. I found out exactly how distinctly un-solid my hand was as four claws punctured the skin with worrying ease. Not really a savage attack, but it was enough to make me glad it was just a Buzzard I was dealing with, not a Goshawk. A Goshawk would have had my whole arm off.