When the first rays of sun are touching the grassland, a flying hunter shoots across the scenery only a few feet above the ground. Its diabolic yellow gaze sparkles through the pit-black framed eyes. It is a Short-eared owl gliding above the open country in search of small rodents.
In the past centuries this was a common picture in extensive open heath, moor and wetland habitats. But since the draining and reduction of these landscapes by humans the owls and other species are facing distress. Today they already have become rare breeding birds in Germany and many other countries of Middle Europe.
I’m fascinated by the sheer beauty of this owl and I decided to paint them in acrylics. The depiction of the habitat was challenging but rewarding as well. But, I especially loved to paint the wonderful plumage of the bird as the backlighting sun creates a beautiful rendering of the spots and patterns inside of the wings.